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Combating maternal mental health disparities

A nonprofit organization is working to help combat maternal mental health disparities in Gadsden County, and asking local moms to join the movement.

Melanin Mothers Meet, also known as M3, was founded by Trishay “Mama Yata” Young.

The organization was recently awarded an $80,000 Equity Action Lab grant from the Center for Thriving

Communities, a statewide collaborative led by University of Florida Health Jacksonville, 904WARD, Florida

Health Justice Project and the Hispanic Federation.
Young said the grant will be used to bring genuine solutions and tangible changes to a critical health area identified in Gadsden County and in the 32304-zip code area of Leon County.

“With this grant, our aim is to bridge these gaps by co-designing and co-creating a sustainable 8-week postpartum program that provides holistic support to new mothers and lived-experience moms, ” Young said.

Furthermore, Young said the proposed project will include a critical analysis of data to determine the focus of work and assess progress alog the way. She said this data will include both quantitative information and stories of mothers’ experiences.
M3 has also garnered the support of local officials.

“All stories need to be told, specifically marginalized individuals. I acknowledge the importance of all collaborative efforts in bringing down postpartum disparities for black women in Gadsden and surrounding counties,” said Quincy Commissioner Dr. Beverly Nash, who represents District 5.
On June 1, Young hosted a community listening session at New Bethel AME Church in Quincy to gain insight from the Gadsden community on what new moms need to benefit from a supportive 8-week postpartum program.
Young said before designing the program, she wants to get out in the community and hear from mothers.
“We want to educate them on the resources available to them in Gadsden County, and we want to find out what we can do to help fill in the gaps,” Young said.
This Friday, June 21 Melanin Mothers Meet will be in Commissioner Nash’s district, at Arbor Crest Apartment Complex from 6-8 p.m.
Grandmothers, mothers and mothers-to-be are welcomed. Food will be provided, and moms will receive a $20 gift card.
“For so long, it’s been very hard to find people who will sincerely support postpartum mothers, but I believe through community conversations and their input will help reveal how this health inequity is so critically important. ” Young said. “When a parent can’t find support for themselves and their child, I truly believe that this is how our children begin to develop at an early age, mental challenges, and physical health issues. 

Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service