Title: Proyecto Mamá: A Community Resource and Needs Assessment of Perinatal Mental Health among Latina Mothers

Faculty: Lisa Edwards

Abstract: The goal of this project is to provide the foundation for future programs and services that will positively impact Latina/o families in Milwaukee, particularly Latina mothers coping with perinatal depression. Perinatal depression (PD; depression during pregnancy and postpartum) has negative consequences on mothers and their children, increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems in childhood and adolescence (Fortner et al., 2011). Rates of PD are significantly higher among Latina mothers than their White counterparts, likely a result of the unique barriers to treatment including stigma, poverty, trauma, and lack of access to care (Edwards et al., 2015). There is currently no available data regarding perinatal mental health resources and needs in Milwaukee. Given the large increase of Latina/os within Milwaukee and Wisconsin (Levine, 2016), this information is critical to future generations of children and families in our community. The proposed project, Proyecto Mamá, is designed to gain a comprehensive understanding of the perinatal mental health resources and needs of Milwaukee Latinas. Guided by a framework of assets-oriented community assessment (Sharpe et al., 2000), the project’s aims are to: a) develop an interdisciplinary Proyecto Mamá Task Force of community members and professionals, b) complete an asset map of the key locations and agencies which support Latina mothers’ perinatal mental health, and c) conduct focus groups with Latina mothers, fathers and faith leaders, and integrate all the findings into a summary report to be shared with community agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders.