“Esperanza Para Las Madres” Supports New Spanish-Speaking Moms

Zufall Health is providing mental health support to Spanish-speaking moms in Esperanza Para Las Madres (Hope for Mothers), a new, virtual support group.

Facilitated by licensed professional counselor Nereida (Nettie) Mendez, LPC, NCC, of Zufall’s behavioral health department, Esperanza is a free, 10-week program for people who are pregnant or have a baby up to one year old. Participants engage with other new mothers and learn about the importance of emotional well-being, coping strategies, and helpful community resources.

The transition to motherhood is generally a joyful time, but perinatal (during pregnancy) and postpartum (after pregnancy) depression and anxiety are common experiences. Mothers who suffer from these conditions may feel isolated, anxious, or feel overwhelmed. For Spanish-speaking mothers, especially those have limited social support in their community, these feelings can be even more difficult to navigate.

“Finding appropriate emotional support in one’s native language is not easy,” says Sarah Aleman, MSW, LCSW, director of behavioral health, whose team has also led Spanish-speaking support groups for breast cancer survivors and people affected by COVID-19 bereavement. “Our new support group addresses linguistic and cultural gaps for moms who may have nowhere else to turn during their struggles.”

Individuals interested in joining Esperanza can call or email Lesly Tinoco, behavioral health case manager coordinator, at 973-328-3344 ext. 1346 or ltinoco@zufallhealth.org or complete a form at zufallhealth.org/esperanza. Being an existing Zufall patient is not a requirement. Anyone seeking immediate support is advised to call New Jersey’s 24/7 Postpartum Depression Helpline at 1-800-328-3838.

Esperanza Para Las Madres was formed with support the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey (PMCHNNJ), a nonprofit organization that works to meet the health needs of women and children in Northern New Jersey.

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