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Megan Peters

Pointing Families to Helena’s Perinatal Support Workers

By Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders

As a direct service provider, you’ve most likely been in a situation where a client sat across the table from you with a complex problem, looking to you for help, and you didn’t have what they needed. It is a terrible feeling, especially when it’s a new mother and she is on the verge of crisis. 

We know it’s tempting to throw a hand out together out of desperation and urgency but, unfortunately, if this process goes awry, it can be damaging and dangerous. Referring an individual suffering from a PMAD to someone who doesn’t understand the nature of these conditions can have disastrous and devastating effects. Think added shame, blame, isolation, and worse. These are complex mental health disorders that require specialized care.

In response, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies created a framework that communities in Montana can use to create a local resource guide that truly feels like a tool. One that providers and patients/clients can consult with confidence. One that allows the referral process to feel more like the passing of a torch than a shot in the dark.

We are currently piloting this project in Helena. The Maternal Mental Health Task Force of the Early Childhood Coalition will publish the guide and update it annually.

In addition to listing providers and clinicians with specific PMAD training & expertise, the guide will also list: 

  • Support groups led by clinicians and trained peer advocates
  • Local prevention, wellness and support services 
  • National and local warm-lines and support-lines

We are seeking more providers to apply who have experience working with people in the perinatal period!

In order to be included in the guide, which will be in print and online, eligibility requirements are:

  • A minimum of 10 CE hours on the topic of Perinatal Mental Health for healthcare and mental health professionals or 5 CE hours for non-healthcare professionals
  • Minimum of one year in practice with perinatal clients
  • Up-to-date and licensed in your field
  • Additional vetting criteria is available if you don’t meet these requirements, please just ask

If you or the providers you represent meet the qualifications to be listed in this guide, please fill out the below application so that our Resource Guide Committee can review your information. Questions can be asked via email at helena.mt.ecc@gmail.com or by phone at 406-763-6811.