GIHN Awarded $20,000 for Infant Mental Health Initiative

GIHN has been awarded $20,000 for an Infant Mental Health Initiative. GIHNs Infant Mental Health Program (IMH) program was established in 1977; the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health grew out of Selma Fraiberg's groundbreaking work, which recognized the importance of the infant-parent relationship to all learning and development. Fraiberg coined the term "infant mental health" to reflect the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of children from birth to 3 years of age in the context of a secure and nurturing relationship. Gratiot County housed many of the earliest infant mental health practitioners, and providing these services has been a significant mainstay of Gratiot Integrated Health Network since the late 1970s.


Our commitment to the mental health of women and children of Gratiot County led Molly Minick, LMSW, Infant Mental Health Clinician at GIHN, to apply for the "Advancing Healthy Births" grant supported by the Michigan Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MI PQC.) This grant provides a one-time funding of $20,000 received through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to support community-led efforts to improve disparate birthing outcomes and ensure healthy births. Though GIHN has a history of providing quality care to pregnant women of Gratiot County and has been endorsed by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, they have not specifically been trained in the treatment of perinatal mental health disorders. With this grant, all Infant Mental Health Specialists will become fully Certified in Perinatal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International. The Perinatal Mental Health Certification Program creates a structure and a standard for professional education and evaluation, as well as a standardization of training and experience to inform families of perinatal mental health. The certification builds on evidence-based perinatal mental health certificate training and adds an advanced training component.


The second proponent of this grant will also help fund a ROSE program. The ROSE program (Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for mothers of newborns) is an evidence-based program that has been shown to reduce cases of postpartum depression in half among low-income women in a series of randomized control trials. The ROSE program has been cited in the new U.S. Prevention Services Task Force recommendations regarding the prevention of perinatal depression. This program will consist of 4 or 8 prenatal sessions and one booster session after delivery. Topics of each session include psychoeducation on postpartum depression, managing the transition into motherhood, managing changing relationships, self-care, assertiveness and goal setting, and a review session. This intervention is highly structured and easy to learn for mothers who may be new to the challenges of being a new mother. Gratiot Integrated Health Network looks forward to continuing to support families in our community with top-notch care and support, and this grant will further the support we give to new mothers and families in Gratiot County.