Columbus is a wonderful city. It is home to so many resources and programs for families. Leaders are committed to reducing infant mortality rates. Organizations are beginning to come together to support families grieving the loss of an infant. When we formed Alive In My Heart, we knew we wanted to help expand access to mental health services for parents grieving the loss of a baby. We quickly learned that there are only a few mental health counselors in central Ohio who specialize in the area of perinatal loss.
Addressing a shortage
This reality is astounding when you look at the infant mortality numbers. Even outside of traditionally underserved areas, when you add the numbers of miscarriages, along with stillbirths to the statistics on infant loss, we are talking in the thousands each year. Thousands EACH YEAR! All of these parents are grieving, and many of them are looking for a professional to help them survive this lonely walk. There is a staggering shortage of clinicians with the specific training needed to adequately treat this sizable population.
Perinatal loss training
That is why Alive in My Heart is excited to announce that we are partnering with Mental Health America Franklin County along with Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms to bring a mental health conference focused on maternal mental health and perinatal loss to Columbus. This conference will focus on the training and development of mental health counselors in the area of perinatal loss. It will offer a primer on maternal mental health complications, then dive specifically into the area of perinatal loss. We love the idea that after this conference we will increase the number of providers prepared to address perinatal loss more than tenfold.
Grieving the loss of a baby is a very isolating experience. It makes you question every aspect of your life. There are many negative consequences of carrying this grief. Often, those consequences are only amplified if the grief is not acknowledged and processed. Having a trained professional that can guide parents through this type of grief journey is invaluable. We are so thrilled to be able to bring this to parents in the central Ohio area.
It is our hope that this conference is only the beginning of our role in expanding access to mental health services for grieving families. Once there are more trained clinicians we can explore opportunities to assist with referrals and meeting financial needs where they cannot be met by the families themselves. Please help us in this mission by sharing the conference information with anyone who might attend or sponsor.