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March 14, 2023

Skagit County Public Health Soon to Launch Perinatal Education and Resilience Collaborative

Skagit County Public Health has contracted with Perinatal Support Washington to provide their Perinatal Education and Resilience Collaborative (PERC) in Skagit County. The collaborative, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), is part of broader Skagit County efforts and priorities to improve services and increase access to perinatal mental health support for families. Expansion of PERC and the Parent Resilience Program will also help strengthen the perinatal mental health task force and better prepare health professionals to support perinatal mental health in Skagit County.

The Parent Resilience Program will expand to Skagit County, providing non-clinical, strength-based peer support services to pregnant and parenting people at risk of, or currently experiencing, perinatal emotional wellness concerns related to childbearing. Concerns may include loss, infertility, anxiety, depression, birth trauma, unexpected birth outcomes, and a variety of other parenting experiences related to emotional wellness from preconception up to two years postpartum.

This program aims to make a cultural match between a Parent Resilience Specialist and parents who share lived experiences and cultural communities. Working effectively with people struggling with pregnancy-related mood and anxiety disorders requires specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. Parent Resilience Specialists use their own lived experience as a foundation to provide one-on-one support unique and tailored to individual needs by:

  • Supporting others in defining their emotional wellness journey.
  • Providing support to achieve postpartum wellness desires and goals. 
  • Offering advocacy, referrals for community resources, and opportunities to connect in peer-led support groups.

Culturally matched peer support will be provided by Parent Resilience Specialists with a hybrid model via phone, text, video, and in-person based on individual needs, preference, and communication styles. This allows participants to engage in ways that are supportive and tailored to their unique wellness desires, goals, and culture. Parents can remain engaged in the program as long as needed for up to two years postpartum.

Skagit County Public Health looks forward to working with existing community organizations and partners that reflect the diversity of Skagit County and will continue to encourage partnerships with stakeholders and members of our community to support Skagit County families.

“Consejo is glad to collaborate with Skagit County Public Health to provide culturally relevant support in this specialized and needed field of care,” says Andrew Gill, Regional Director of Behavioral Health at Consejo Counseling and Referral Service. “When a client receives care from someone with similar lived experiences, it can make all the difference in building trust and promoting health.”

Additionally, as part of the collaborative component to the work, Skagit County Public Health will be offering no-cost training for Washington State mental health professionals new to perinatal mental health care and treatment. The training is meant to build skills for effectively working in the perinatal mental health field and will be held virtually on April 14 and April 21, 2023, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.

To register for the training, visit here.

For questions about the training, please contact training@perinatalsupport.org.

The Perinatal Education and Resilience Collaborative is anticipated to launch in Skagit County in the coming months. For more information, please call Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500. If you are interested in getting involved or supporting the Parent Resilience Program, please contact Skagit Parent Resilience Program Manager, Addelle Diedesch MA, LMHC, PMH-C at addelle.diedesch@perinatalsupport.org or (360) 803-8552.