Connections Wellness Group has developed a reputation for offering accessible, high-quality mental health and wellness support for people across a broad spectrum of ages, struggles, and walks of life. “Motherhood comes with a unique set of challenges, and as we have grown, we started seeing the gap in services designed to support the perinatal period,” said Heather Aje, LPC, CCTP, a perinatal mental health therapist at Connections and a member of the business development team. “One of the best parts about Connections is that we are able to create programs to meet the needs of our community with more flexibility and agility than other healthcare systems,” Sydney Reece, LPC, and Director of Operations added. Once this need was identified, Connections Wellness Group set out to recruit a specialized team and design a program to meet it, and thus Mom Matters
Mom Matters is a PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) that focuses on the unique challenges and struggles of mental health and wellness when it comes to parenthood. “It’s a higher level of care than traditional therapy and medication management,” Executive Director of the Flower Mound location, Nancy Bledsoe-Link, LPC, LCDC said. “It’s common for parents to experience struggles and difficulties when transitioning into their new roles as parents. The struggles that these stages of life bring can create emotional distress and a decrease in functioning that negatively impacts the caregiver, even if they are doing well in caring for the child.”
PHP and IOP are intensive levels of care that offer up to 20 hours of treatment each week. They are used to provide robust support to individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, day-to-day functioning, and other mental health challenges, but are a step down from inpatient levels of care. The Mom Matters program utilizes a variety of evidence-based treatments that have been proven to support stabilization, growth, and healing and includes therapy (education, skill-building, and process groups), psychiatric medication management (appointments with a provider 1 – 2 times a week), nursing care, and family engagement.
Many people don’t realize that they are experiencing long-term effects of the struggles of pregnancy and parenthood until after they give birth and often are misdiagnosed. “In an ideal world, we would want people to reach out for therapy and mental health and wellness support from the moment that they decide to start planning for a family, or as soon as they learn they are pregnant,” Nancy said. “Mom matters is open to mothers and birthing persons 18 and older from late pregnancy throughout their parenthood journey.”
Mom Matters recognizes that not every person’s parenting struggles are going to be the same. The program is designed to help those that are struggling with a wide variety of issues such as adjusting to parenthood, balancing multiple roles, managing anxiety/depression/mood stability, mental health challenges and caregiving impacts, loss of personal identity, caregiver burnout, and mom guilt.
Connections Wellness Group also realizes that there’s no one treatment option that will suit all people. Because of this, Mom Matters incorporates a variety of treatment modalities throughout the program implemented by a master’s level clinician. These treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, mediation and mindfulness, interpersonal therapy, and many more depending on the needs of the patient.
“Our team offers a complimentary pre-admission screening conducted by a compassionate, knowledgeable, licensed clinician. This screening reviews the various components of life to identify the best opportunities to treat, support, and assist with healing,” Becky Spencer, PHD, PHNP-BC, IBCLC, and PMH-C said. “Every admission is reviewed collaboratively with our treatment team and a recommendation for an individualized treatment plan is created.”
When it comes to mental health and wellness, finding care that is designed specifically for your needs is essential. At Connections Wellness Group, the entire staff is dedicated to removing barriers to treatment and to being a bridge to the widest possible variety of support that may be needed. Mom Matters is the first program of its kind in Texas and Connections Wellness Group is proud and honored to have the opportunity to provide this level of care to the Texas community.