BeLieVE Executive Summary
Lakeisha Adams, mother of two; a one year old and a 3 month year old, all of who lived in Louisiana, Lakeisha suffered from postpartum depression. In December of 2005, Lakeisha put 3 month old Jailand in a clothes dryer and turned it on. We want to prevent situations like Lakeisha’s from happening again and you should too. Perinatal mental illnesses are a serious problem because mothers everywhere have struggles that could be helped but aren’t. Postpartum depression afflicts between 12 and 20 percent of moms in the United States, teen moms are twice as likely to experience postpartum depression than adults.
Team BeLieVE believes that by educating those who care for the adolescent mothers and their perinatal mental illnesses, we can prevent any further suffering for pregnant women, more specifically, pregnant adolescents who are more vulnerable to mental illnesses.
At the beginning of this project when we first got the problem, we had a lot of ideas and when we looked back at them, they were kind of basic and not interactive and sometimes didn’t work well with the space we were given at the conference. Our ideas at the beginning of this project consisted of a skit, a you-tube video, trifolds, raffles,giveaways, pins, a website, and a billboard; we were very ambitious. As far as the the billboards and giveaways, we needed to be more realistic,everything else needed a more interactive and creative approach. With that in mind, we then created our final idea which was a simulation, followed by an infographic.
We will present our solution at a table at the Maternal Mental Health and Wellness Conference on Friday, April 28th. Attendees who visit our table will hear a recording of the thoughts of an adolescent mother suffering from a perinatal mental illness. While the participants are going through the simulation, we will have them perform a task that the average adolescent would do. Then we will have the participants write on a sticky note about what they think about the importance of raising awareness about perinatal mental health, after having gone through the simulation, as well as any feelings it may have evoked in them. We will then put the sticky notes on a white board and give the parents and healthcare professionals an infographic about perinatal mood disorders as well as anxiety in adolescents, and how they can help those who suffer from those mental illnesses.If by appealing to the health care providers by helping them understand what it is like to be an adolescent mother while having a mood disorder at the same time that they have to go about doing everyday tasks, then we believe that the health care providers will be able to make a change in the way that they approach the situation to begin with, or it may help them pay more attention to perinatal anxiety and mood disorders in adolescent mothers.
We are very passionate about helping adolescent mothers that are or might be suffering from a perinatal mental illness. We will know our solution has worked when doctors start screening mothers for mental health disorders. By raising awareness of perinatal mental health disorders families and professionals will be able to spot the signs more clearly. As a result, if there is evidence, through statistics that more adolescent mothers are getting proper treatment and care for their mental illnesses, we will know then that our solution has helped adolescent mothers with their treatment for their perinatal mental health and mood disorders.