CarePlus NJ Inc. has opened the Maternal and Family Center at its headquarters in Paramus, it announced recently. The program was created to meet the mental health care needs for women and families who are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant or postpartum, or who have suffered grief or loss.
The behavioral health services provider said the center will be staffed by perinatal mental health experts from Postpartum Support International.
“Maternal mental health has never been given the attention that it deserves both within the mental health field and within our communities. It’s often considered a taboo topic, when in fact many women are left suffering in silence. Our program is designed to address all mental health issues in and around pregnancy, and to provide personalized and compassionate care to women and their families when they need it most,” Daniel Finch, chief medical officer at CarePlus, said.
Finch is one of the first New Jersey physicians to receive the perinatal mental health certification, which requires additional training in treating women’s mental health during pregnancy and postpartum.
“Mental health and physical health are indisputably interconnected, so we must ensure we are addressing both, especially when it comes to the wellbeing of women and growing families during pregnancy and beyond,” Melissa Sampath, vice president of community health services at CarePlus, said. “More than 1 in 7 women (and 1 in 10 dads) experience changes in their mental health during and after pregnancy. As a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, CarePlus is in a unique position to develop programs aimed at providing as many resources as possible to families, health care providers, and our communities to raise awareness, increase access to care, and reduce stigma associated with maternal mental health.”
Sampath also recently attained the certification.
The center’s specialized services will include: counseling for individuals, couples and families; support groups; medication education, evaluation and management; family education and support for spouses, parents and loved ones; case management; care coordination with primary doctors; OB/GYN and outside mental health professionals; referrals; and more.