July is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, which is also known as BIPOC Mental Health Month. This awareness month was created to address the mental health challenges and needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the US. For more information, visit the Mental Health America website: https://www.mhanational.org/BIPOC-mental-health-month
This month, Postpartum Support Virginia (PSVa) partnered with and supported a non-profit organization called Golden Motherhood. Their mission is to “support women of color before, during, and after pregnancy by bridging the gap in quality and equitable maternity care.” To find out more about this organization, visit their website: https://goldenmotherhood.com/
Postpartum Support Virginia was involved in two events hosted by Golden Motherhood. The first event was You Are Not Alone: Reclaiming Our Voice & Find Our Strength on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 from 6pm-7:30pm.
At this event, I provided a brief overview of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), discussed the social and economic factors that contributed to racial and ethnic disparities in health and mental health, briefly discussed mental health barriers, and identified ways to support perinatal persons through allyship and advocacy. Afterwards, there was a panel of four moms who shared their stories about mistreatment from healthcare providers, lack of support from family and friends, miscarriages, traumatic births, and being able to overcome perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). They also provided advice for those who are struggling with mental health challenges and how they can advocate from themselves.
On Saturday, July 24th, 2021, I represented PSVa at the Golden Yoga: Catering to Women of Color Before, During, and After Pregnancy event.
At this event, I set up a table with PSVa resources. There were other tables by Healthy Families Greater Prince William Area and The Spice Tea Co. (owned by the yoga instructor). The event started with Elan Adounvo, founder of Golden Motherhood, introducing herself and the board members, and thanking everyone for coming to this event. Then, we participated in a 45-minute yoga class that was facilitated by Golden Oasis Yoga. Afterwards, the sponsors introduced themselves and provided a brief overview of the mental health services that they offer for perinatal women and their family.
Finally, it was time to network. As I walked around pushing my stroller, I felt a sense of ease as I talked to each person and presented them with a copy of PSVa’s handouts (postpartum plan, a rack card, a “Shh… Mom is sleeping” doorknob hanger, a business card, and a pen). If you would like a copy of these handouts, you can access them for FREE on our website: https://postpartumva.org/resources-fact-sheets/
Even though BIPOC Mental Health Month is coming to an end, the work is not done. We will continue to advocate and educate the public about perinatal mental health challenges for people of color.