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Well Baby Center Celebrates Mental Health Awarness

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As a part of a community engagement project, this 11-year-old storefront non-profit parenting and counseling center is sponsoring its first Day of Wellness for new families.

LOS ANGELES - EntSun -- Well Baby Center is hosting a Parent and Child Day of Wellness event to engage pregnant women and families with children up to 5 years old about the importance of early connections with their children and parent peers. The event will be from 3 – 6 pm on Thursday, June 13, in Well Baby Center's large community play yard, located at 12316 Venice Blvd, Mar Vista, CA, 90066.

Parental social isolation is a condition that adversely affects both parent and child during the first five years of a child's life – a time of maximum brain development. In addition, parents with mental health needs often feel stigmatized and so they are hesitant to seek the services they need to be the parents they want to be. If parents are experiencing anxiety or depression, their child will be at risk of developing a number of mental health and developmental challenges if the condition is not addressed.

This Day of Wellness will celebrate the family -- in all its permutations and diversity. It is our belief that by normalizing the many stresses of parenthood, including managing a mental health diagnosis while raising a family, we will help parents feel empowered to seek help. Our goal is to provide an event where families can have quality playtime with their children while meeting other families in the community and having the opportunity to converse with professionals in the field of infant/toddler-family mental health.

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This inclusive wellness day will educate parents on ways to connect with their children through play and mindful attention, provide opportunity to connect with peers experiencing the same transition to parenthood, and inform parents about local and affordable resources. Our experts on hand will include parenting experts, perinatal therapists, and a parent-child musician. There will also be a table with lots of local resources provided. In addition to free wellness goodie bags and healthy food, participants will have the opportunity to win free parenting classes and other services.

Well Baby Center's founder, Deborah Groening-Rother, LMFT, PsyD states that "new parents can be very isolated for a number of reasons even though they are craving connection with other parents. Once connected socially through a community mental health center like Well Baby Center, they may become more motivated to seek short-term clinical or educational support, where they will be able to address past issues that were not as much of a priority before they became a parent."

Dr. Groening-Rother knows that "families will benefit from increased social connection, strengthened relationships with their children, and from gaining knowledge of sources of support in their community.

We hope to decrease the social isolation and stigma associated with seeking mental health services. This is preventative work -- enhancing children's mental health through strengthening family and community health. Mothers, in particular, are identified as the key component that influences infant-toddler mental health. Well Baby Center hopes to reach mothers as early as possible to educate them about healthy attachment and effective, loving parenting practices and to provide needed maternal mental health."

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Well Baby Center is a licensed non-profit community psychology clinic in operation since 2008. Our mission is to strengthen parent-child relationships by promoting reflective and mindful interactions between parent and child. We offer a warm and friendly atmosphere where clinical and non-clinical services together aim to destigmatize the act of obtaining and receiving mental health services. All clinical services are available on a sliding scale based on family income.  The center offers free initial consultations and free introductions to our parenting groups so there is an easy way for parents to learn about the center and the services we offer.

Well Baby Center's staff consists of licensed and pre-licensed infant-parent mental health practitioners and early childhood educators. Our relationship-focused approach evolved out of compelling developmental research that showed the importance of parental reflective functioning and secure attachment relationships in the first years of a child's life. We work with the entire family system to enhance positive parent-child interactions in a holistic way. We provide a welcoming space for parents to feel comfortable bringing all their parenting concerns, ranging from normal developmental challenges to more intensive treatments – all within the milieu of a local community center.

The event is sponsored by a community engagement grant provided by LACDMH.

http://www.wellbabycenter.org

Source: Well Baby Center
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