Two non-profits launch program to decrease infant mortality, provide mental therapy for mothers

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Courageous Healing Inc. and Mission: Motherhood have collaborated to launch a program that will provide therapeutic services to expectant mothers and new mothers.

The program is called M.A.M.A.S., which stands for motivating, affirming, mentoring, advocating and supporting all mamas.

[Motherhood] “It’s beautiful and it’s incredible and there’s all these blessings, but it’s hard. Coming in second is hard, and putting someone else first at all times is hard” said Janell Lane, co-founder of Courageous Healing Inc. “This is a place where they finally have the safety to be supported and to be seen for their needs.”

There are two sectors to the program.

The first is the ‘Row Study,’ which focuses on reaching out and staying strong essential for mothers-specifically minority mothers. It provides resources to prevent postpartum postpartum depression and maternal mental health conditions.

“Infant mortality for black moms specifically nearly doubles the rate of overall infant mortality numbers,” Lane said.

“Our state is significantly higher than other states in the nation and specifically in our community we have a desperate need to provide services and break the stigma surrounding maternal mental health for our black and brown moms,” said Jennifer Norris-Hale, founder of Mission: Motherhood.

Based on numbers from 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Indiana number 11 for infant mortality rate and number of infant deaths. In 2018, the Hoosier state had 556 deaths and a 6.8 infant mortality rate.

The second part of the program is called ‘Mothers and Babies’ which focuses on new mothers with children up to three-years-old. Norris-Hale explained that studies showed that postpartum conditions or maternal mental health conditions can exist up to three years for any mom.

“Birth can be traumatic. You are not a bad mom if you need help and we are here to help you,” Norris-Hale said. “Motherhood was never intended to be a solo journey.”

Lane told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that she believes this program is just a piece of a bigger puzzle. She describes M.A.M.A.S. as the piece of supporting the calls and helping provide access to care that not only is physically accessible, but that also is authentically accessible.

The program is expected to launch in mid-February.

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