Maternal support specialists on “Mobilizing Communities to Address Maternal Mental Health”

  • on 5 Mar 2013
  • Blackman Auditorium, Woods Labs
megan smith

Dr. Megan V. Smith, assistant professor of Psychiatry, Child Study and Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine, will give a public presentation on "Mobilizing Communities to Address Maternal Mental Health." Smith will be joined by Joanne Goldblum, executive director of the National Diaper Bank Network. The talk is free and open to the public. Residents of neighboring communities are especially welcome.

Smith teaches in the Yale School of Public Health and conducts clinical and community-partnered research in the area of maternal and child mental health and racial, ethnic and gender-based disparities in mental health and illness. She is the director and principal investigator of the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership, a community-academic collaboration to create citywide systems for low-income mothers and their children. With a network of more than 1,000 mothers living in New Haven, this partnership works to meet complex needs of mothers who may be struggling with mental health issues. Mothers in New Haven who have been trained in research methods and mental health outreach help lead the efforts of the MOMS Partnership. The MOMS Partnership represents a coordinated effort by the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the City of New Haven, and New Haven mothers themselves.

Smith has received a “Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health” career award from the National Institutes of Health, and Young Investigator Awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression and the North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Joanne Samuel Goldblum, MSW, is the founding executive director of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN). The NDBN is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of diaper need and build capacity of diaper banks throughout the country to provide a solution to a chronic problem for families in need. The National Diaper Bank Network grew out of Goldblum’s work with the New Haven Diaper Bank, an organization she founded in response to the desperate need for diapers that she saw in her social work with impoverished families. She built what is now the nation’s largest diaper bank—distributing more than 2.6 million diapers per year to struggling families in Connecticut.

A clinical faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center Family Support Services from 1998-2005, Goldblum was chosen as a 2007 Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader for her work. She was named 2007 New Haven Register Person of the Year, honored as one of People magazine’s “Heroes Among Us,” and featured on ABC Evening News as their Person of the Week in July 2008.

The March 5 presentation is part of an Easter semester lecture series presented by Community Engaged Learning, the University of the South’s academic community engagement program.

This lecture series features a range of speakers from all over the world. They will address a variety of topics of concern for people living on the Cumberland Plateau and in surrounding communities. Most of the featured speakers are guest lecturers in Child, Family, and Community Development in Rural Appalachia, a psychology course developed out of a partnership between Sewanee’s Psychology Department and Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.