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Concealed but Common: Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders and How We Can Bridge the Gap

 

Originally presented on March 16, 2022

 

 

Research, awareness, and understanding of infant mental health and the importance of parental mental health have significantly increased. However, parent and infant mental health systems continue to be siloed and separated. Only 25% of parents who are in need access treatment during this critical postpartum time; we must bridge this gap to better support the entire family system and promote safety for all. This presentation will discuss parental mental health, including common experiences, symptoms, concerns, and diagnoses that can occur as a new infant enters the family. We will review Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) and dive into the common, but often not talked about, symptoms that new parents and caregivers experience. Our infant mental health and health systems must understand these experiences to help normalize and validate these symptoms and the difficulties of parenthood. Currently, parents and caregivers must be self-aware, navigate feelings of shame and fear, and ask for help. With understanding, better assessment questions, and resources, we can bridge the gap to provide more thorough and supportive services. A case presentation will assist learners in understanding these nuances during the postpartum time. Ideas and resources for a holistic family approach will be presented.

 

Learners will:

  • Understand Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)
  • Understand the hidden symptoms many people experience during the perinatal time
  • Understand questions to ask to support identification and understanding of symptoms
  • Identify resources to bridge the gap between infant mental health and parental mental health

 

Who should attend: All staff of family resource center (FRCs), child abuse prevention councils (CAPCs), and other child and family-serving organizations.

 

Training Materials & Resources

 

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MEET THE SPEAKERS

Kelly Curtis-Hughes works as an early childhood mental health therapist at KidSTART, an award-winning transdisciplinary Infant Family Early Child Mental Health Treatment Program at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. KidSTART works with the most complex children aged 0-5, and their families. These children have a multitude of diagnostic possibilities, including mental health concerns, as well as developmental, medical, and/or familial complexity. Kelly provides dyadic and family therapy utilizing therapy modalities of Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Trauma Assessment Pathway model, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, with play therapy and attachment based techniques. Kelly is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Play Therapist. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling from San Diego State University.

 

 

Kristen Eberly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who works as a Mental Health Therapist specializing in perinatal mental health. Kristen provides counseling services to individuals and families who are navigating the journey of parenthood in its many forms at Well-Mamas Family Counseling. While providing a relationship-based and strengths-based approach to therapy, she supports the parent’s understanding of their experiences, potential identity shifts, and emotions such as anxiety, intrusive thoughts, depression, anger, grief, trauma symptoms, and exhaustion that can occur during this journey. Kristen also has experience as an Early Childhood Mental Health Therapist working with complex children ages 0-5 and their families utilizing therapy modalities of Child-Parent Psychotherapy, the Trauma Assessment Pathway model, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and play therapy and attachment-based techniques. Kristen holds a Master of Social Work and the Early Childhood Socio-Emotional and Behavior Regulation Intervention Specialist (EC-SEBRIS) Certification from San Diego State University.

 

Kelly Curtis-Hughes, LMFT

KidSTART, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego

 

 

Kristen Eberly, LCSW

Well-Mamas Family Counseling