The overarching goal of Proyecto Mamá is to comprehensively assess the resources and needs regarding perinatal mental health among Latinx mothers in the Milwaukee community.
Using an asset-oriented approach to community assessment, members of the Marquette University Culture and Well-Being Research Lab, led by Dr. Lisa Edwards, engaged community members (mothers, health professionals and faith leaders) through focus groups and interviews about perinatal mental health. These data revealed that the Latina mothers most prominent risk factors for postpartum depression were financial stress, martial conflict, trauma, lack of social support, babys’ health concerns, and immigration/political stress. Strengths and cultures resources that were reported to be essential were cultural traditions; family and social support; Cuarentenas (postpartum recovery period); herbs, soups and teas; community clinics and programs for mothers with culturally-relevant services. While a few agencies and supportive care practices in Milwaukee were noted, the majority of data focused on barriers to access to services during the perinatal period, including: stigma/vergüenza, lack of resources (e.g. bilingual services), insurance/financial challenges (e.g. insufficient insurance, cost of counseling), lack of transportation and/or childcare, fear of children being removed by CPS, and undocumented status. A list of recommendations based of these findings is provided in the following brief report: Proyecto Mama Milwaukee – Brief Report December 2020
Edwards, L. M., Loyo, K., Faytol, A., Goertz, M. T., & McConnell (2019, August). Lessons learned from Proyecto Mamá: A community-engaged research collaboration. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association conference, Chicago, IL.
Edwards, L.M., Bello, B., Loyo, K.T., Faytol, A., Pantoja-Pantino, J., Goertz, M. (2018, October). Methods for identifying Latinx resilience and growth through community assessment. Symposium presented at the National Latinx Psychological Association conference, San Diego, CA.
Edwards, L. M., Bello, B., Loyo, K., Faytol, A., Pantoja-Patina, J., & Goertz, M. T. (2018, October). Proyecto Mamá: Preliminary findings from a community assessment of Latina perinatal mental health. Poster presented at the National Latinx Psychological Association conference, San Diego, CA.
Loyo, K., Edwards, L.M., Bello, B., Pantoja, J., Faytol, A., Lattimore, D. (2017, November). The complex role of perinatal mental health among Latinas: Findings from a community assessment. In S. Lara-Cinosomo (Chair), Religion/Faith and Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Perinatal Depression. Symposium presented at the 3rd Biennial Perinatal Mental Health Conference, Chicago.
Edwards, L.M., Loyo, K., Bello, B., Lattimore, D., & Ramirez, A. (2016, October). “I can handle this on my own:” A community-based study of resources and needs regarding perinatal mental health among Latinas. In A. Barrera (Chair), Emerging Topics in Research about Perinatal Mental Health among Latinas. Symposium presented at the National Latina/o Psychological Association Conference, Orlando.
Edwards, L.M., Bello, B., Ramirez, A., Loyo, K.T., & Lattimore D. (2015, November). Practitioner’s perspectives about community assets and needs regarding perinatal mental health among Latinas. Poster presented at the Perinatal Mental Health Conference, Chicago
Specific Research Objectives of Proyecto Mamá
The overarching goal of this project is to comprehensively assess the resources and needs in Milwaukee regarding perinatal mental health for Latinas. This type of assessment has not yet been undertaken in this area. This community assessment is framed within a public health approach called assets-oriented community assessment (Sharpe et al., 2000). In addition, theoretical principles from positive psychology and multiculturalism (e.g., Pedrotti & Edwards, 2014), are also integrated into the lens through which this project’s goal is shaped. The three specific aims of this project are to:
- Assemble an interdisciplinary Proyecto Mamá Task Force of community members and professionals who share the goal of supporting Latina mothers’ perinatal mental health.
- Develop an asset map of the key locations, individuals and agencies related to supporting Latina mothers’ perinatal mental health within Milwaukee and its surrounding areas, as well as a description of notable barriers within systems.
- Conduct focus groups and interviews with key constituents regarding the resources and needs regarding Latina perinatal mental health, and integrate all findings into a summary report.
If you have any questions about the project or would like to know more, please contact Dr. Edwards by email at firstname.lastname@example.org