First-Time Mothers Get Free Mental Health Services
A new partnership between Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and Family Counseling Service means first-time mothers can access free short-term counseling at home.
NFP, a home-visiting program of United Way of the Coastal Bend, pairs first-time pregnant mothers with a registered nurse who conducts home visits until the child is two years old. The nurses provide information on pregnancy, childbirth, post-natal expectations, healthy development of the child, conduct checkups on the child and help the mother set goals.
NFP mothers willing to participate who score 10 or higher on anxiety assessment GAD-7 or depression assessment PHQ-9 qualify for the short-term counseling, totaling eight sessions. In these sessions, patients will work with a therapist to address relationship issues, stress, adjustment issues, anxiety and depression.
Family Counseling Service provides a therapy program with licensed therapists who help patients with communication, anger management, recovery from loss and grief, divorce adjustment, personal growth and more.
“The transition into motherhood can be as overwhelming as it is rewarding,” said Ashley Drillen, NFP Program Director at United Way of the Coastal Bend. “The stress of navigating this change can exacerbate one’s anxiety or depression, which can be detrimental for both mother and baby if gone untreated. That’s why we’re grateful to Family Counseling Service for this partnership in providing first-time mothers with counseling that will help them be healthy and productive parents.”
The partnership operates on a referral basis. NFP nurses complete a referral form and work with NFP mothers to complete an intake packet, then submit them to Family Counseling Service. A Family Counseling therapist then contacts the NFP mother and schedules the first of eight at-home appointments.
“As a long-time partner of United Way of the Coastal Bend we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Nurse-Family Partnership Program,” said David Schroll, Executive Director of Family Counseling Service. “We are happy to support this much-needed and very important program for expectant and new mothers during this life transforming period of their lives. We hope that our supportive and professional therapy services will complement the services provided by NFP for the betterment of the women they serve.”
There are currently 122 women paired with six registered nurses in the NFP program. New applications from qualifying mothers at or under 29 weeks gestation are accepted at this time. Learn more by calling 361-882-2529 or visit uwcb.org/nurse-family-partnership.