Alameda Health System’s (AHS) Growing, Glowing and Afterglow Project (GGAP) supports pregnant and post-partum mothers and birthing people with anxiety and depression and helps increase social support. The virtual six-week program is facilitated by a therapist and a community health outreach worker provides group therapy and case management for English and Spanish-speaking AHS patients.

“Pregnancy and caring for an infant can be a difficult journey,” said Pamela Neher, clinical supervisor for Integrated Behavioral Health and GGAP. “Our program recognizes these struggles and offers a compassionate and nurturing space to learn ways to cope and to not feel so alone.”

According to Neher, the Growing, Glowing and Afterglow Project was developed to reduce depression and anxiety and increase social support during the pregnancy and postpartum period.

“We are grateful to be able to continue to offer these services through 2024. With previous grants we were able to increase capacity, expand the group to our Spanish speaking patients, offer more intense case management and enjoy coordinated in-person events.”

Neher said patient feedback has been positive and 73 participants graduated from the program in 2022.  The team produced a patient video sharing perspectives from the participants and several patients shared their thoughts.

“The group was very helpful to me personally,” said one patient from the Spanish-speaking group. “I was having a hard time and talking to all the moms and sharing what I felt helped me feel much better and happier.”

Another member of the English-speaking group added, “Being in the group helped me understand that what I felt was valid, and it helped build a better relationship and connection with my child.”

Evelyn Terceros-Mcghee, community health outreach worker and GGAP facilitator shared why her role has a special meaning for her, “After having my baby in 2019 I experienced postpartum depression so know firsthand how important perinatal support groups are to healing. I am proud to be a facilitator of the Growing, Glowing, Afterglow group at Highland and to be able to make a difference in the lives of other moms.”

“We hope to continue to offer this important group to our patients to help improve outcomes for families. We recognize that the resources the grant provides allows our patients to engage with one another at our in-person events, which provides that initial boost for them to attend ongoing groups,” said Neher.

AHS patients interested in participating in the Growing, Glowing and Afterglow Project, should ask their AHS provider to refer them. For additional behavioral health resources in the community visit the AHS Behavioral Health webpage.