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Feeling a little blue? Tired? On edge? Worried all the time? You are not alone…..

By February 7, 2022 No Comments

Close up of sad girl

For Immediate Help

-If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911.
-If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:
1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free and confidential crisis counseling available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
-TTY: Dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255
Online chat is also available 24/7
-En Español 1-888-628-9454

Nearly one in five women living in Orange County is affected by a form of depression or anxiety either during pregnancy, in the 12 months after birth, or both. You are not alone. With the added stressors and worries about pregnancy and the baby, lack of sleep, and physical and hormonal changes from being pregnant, any pregnant or post-partum woman can be at risk for anxiety and depression, even if they never experienced these issues before pregnancy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our whole community through the effects of social isolation, money/job trouble, unstable housing, school/child care closures, relationship difficulties, disruption of routines, and concern about COVID-19 infection. These can all contribute to an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, difficulty sleeping, stress, and anxiety. You are not alone.

Some of the symptoms of depression include*:

  • Feeling sad, anxious or “empty”
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Loss of energy
  • Problems concentrating, recalling details, or making decisions
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Feeling distant from your baby
  • Doubting your ability to care for your baby
  • Thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby – call 911 or the HCA Crisis Assessment Team (CAT) at (866) 830-6011!

*from CDC’s Depression During and After Pregnancy

If you are feeling any of these symptoms, support is available. Mental health difficulties during pregnancy can have both acute and long term consequences for pregnant women and their children. Not only can they increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth, they can also affect the physical and mental health and development of the children as they grow up. Getting help now can decrease the likelihood of adverse outcomes for both you and your baby. Contact your health care provider as soon as possible for evaluation and referral and review the Mental Health Support resources below.

Resources

Resources Available for Mental Health Support

Assistance Accessing Mental Health Care

  • OC Health Care Agency’s OC Links (24/7): 855-OC-LINKS or 855-625-4657

Peer Mentorship, Classes and Support Groups

  • OC Health Care Agency’s Orange County Parent Wellness Program offers screening and needs assessment, counseling, and parent education and support groups to current clients using the evidence-based Mothers and Babies Contact information: (714) 480-5160 or email: OCParentWellness@ochca.com.
  • OC Health Care Agency’s Community Counseling & Supportive Services consists of screening and assessment, counseling (individual, couples and family), groups (support & educational), case management, referral and linkages, and community outreach. Contact information: (714) 645-8000.
  • Camino Nuevo (Mental Health Drop-in Center) offers medication support, individual and group mental health services, substance use treatment, peer support services and activities, and episodic case management. Contact information: (714) 824-8140.
  • Parent to Parent Program (Family Support Network): The English/Spanish Support Group provides an opportunity for parents/caregivers to share their own experiences and feelings, firsthand information, and coping strategies when caring for a child with special needs. Contact information: (714) 447-3301 extension 204.
  • National Alliance of Mental Illness of Orange County (NAMI OC) offers Peer-to-Peer (10 week) or Family-to-Family (12 week) no-cost educational programs for affected individuals or their loved ones, as well as online support groups. Contact information: (714) 544-8488.
  • MOMS Orange County currently offers in person and virtual classes and groups on a variety of topics such as childbirth preparation, postpartum support, Mommy and Me, and My Family and Me. MOMS also offers the ROSES (Reach Out Stay Strong Essentials) post-partum depression prevention course below. Contact information: (714) 972-2610.
  • Hoag Women’s Health Institute: Click here for Hoag’s perinatal educational classes, postpartum support groups, pregnancy and infant loss support group, and more. The Maternal Mental Health Support Line can be reached at: (949) 764-5333.
  • Providence: Multiple Providence locations across Orange County provide pregnancy and postpartum support groups including:
    • Mission Hospital Laguna Beach offers a Maternal Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and a pregnancy and post-partum virtual support group. Contact information: (949) 499-7504.
      The Maternal Mental Health Referral Line is available at: (949) 499-8663.
    • Jude and St. Joseph Hospitals offer individual and group counseling, postpartum depression groups in English and Spanish, as well as Dad’s postpartum groups. Contact information: (714) 771-8101.ZZZ
  • Postpartum Support International: More than 14 specialty online support groups are offered 5 days a week including groups for mothers with bipolar, mood, or anxiety disorders, Black, South Asian or Spanish-speaking mothers, military moms, NICU parents, queer or trans parents, and many more. Learn more at: https://postpartum.net/, or call or text: (800) 944-4773.

 Prevention Programs

  • Mothers and Babies Program: This 6-12 week individual or group-based program is designed specifically for pregnant women and new parents, to provide a toolkit of coping skills to manage mood and stress while parenting a baby. Designed to be delivered prenatally, this curriculum empowers mothers by encouraging them to engage in enjoyable activities, build their social support network, and develop healthier ways of thinking. More information is available online at: https://www.mothersandbabiesprogram.org/. New parents can access the Mothers and Babies program at OC Parent Wellness Program by contacting: (714) 480-5160 or OCParentWellness@ochca.com.
  • ROSES (Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for new mothers): This preventive intervention consists of four to five individual or group sessions using an interpersonal therapy approach to provide psycho-education on stress management, role transitions, managing relationships and interpersonal conflicts. Intended to lower the risk of postpartum depression among low-income women, the ROSES program may be offered by paraprofessionals or mental health professionals in either clinic or community based settings. Mothers can access the ROSES program at MOMS OC by contacting: (714) 972-2610 or the YMCA by calling: (714)-508-7643. Offered in English and Spanish.
  • South Coast Children’s Society (South Coast Community Services) provides shelter, care, therapy, and essential support services for abused, neglected and underprivileged children and youth, and their struggling families. Services include individual, group, and family therapy, as well as psychiatric and medication support services. Contact information: (714) 536-0077 or 877-527-7227 or https://southcoast.formstack.com/forms/contact_form.

Resources Available for Financial and Social Services Support