Maternal Behavioral  Program

CHWCMR is unveiling an exciting perinatal mental health program at the end of 2021: Caminando con Juntos

Postpartum depression and a lack of support (both medical and social) are serious issues in CHWCMR communities. There are many barriers to care including differences in cultural expectations around birth, stigma around mental health issues, as well as the structural barriers migrants and refugees face every day. We need a program that provides education, support, and care coordination to those suffering in silence. Together with Perigee Fund, CHWCMR is working to create a program that will successfully meet the needs of the people who give life to this Maternal Behavioral Health program. A pilot program, Caminando con Mamá, will launch at the end of 2021. 

Caminando con Mamá is a Community Health Worker-led, train-the-trainer program that will aid 120 families over 3 years. It will bring socio-emotional support, knowledge about maternal mental health, dissolution of mental stigma, and connection to resources. Parents deserve mental health support during a major life event such as giving birth. Caring for a newborn is difficult unto itself - postpartum depression adds levels of difficulty no one should face alone. Studies show the connections between parental mental health, parent-child bonding, and health outcomes for children. We should walk this journey together.

To create the best program possible, this program was developed by a Community Advisory Board of mothers and Community Health Workers, a group of experienced mental health and maternal/child health consultants, and a Program Coordinator who pulls it all together. 

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The Community Advisory Board


Comité Comunitario 

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Dr. Ruiz is originally from Nicaragua. He graduated as a Doctor of Medicine and surgery in 1992 and graduated as a specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics in 1996 at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. He has 22 Years of experience as a Gynecologist-Obstetrician. He has a postgraduate degree in Business Management in Health Services at the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua. In the United States, he has worked as a surgical assistant, medical assistant, and CNA. He has worked as a CHW/P with the coalition since last year.




Sra. Mejia is from Honduras and has lived in the United States for 17 years. She graduated with a degree in journalism and a postgraduate in Human Services in Honduras. She has worked extensively with low-income families and health education trainings. She has a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling. She works as a mental health Peer Support Specialist and training leader for school districts. In 2019, she and her husband were Awarded by Unsung Heroes in WA. She currently works toward her WA State Certification for Mental Health Counselor. She has been an active member of CHWCMR for 3 years.

The Program Coordinator, Kathleen Pérez, comes to CHWCMR with a Master's in Public Health and background as a Community Health Worker. She is originally from the Imperial Valley in Southern California. For more information on this program, contact Kathleen:

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Telemedicine and Depression during COVID-19