In efforts to highlight the amazing works of other non-profits in our community, Keep Oregon Well and Trillium Family Services teamed up with Baby Blues Connection, another 2017 Willamette Week Give!Guide organization being showcased this year. As advocates for mental health across the lifespan, Baby Blues Connection is an invaluable resource dedicated to families and we want you to know more about what they are all about.
What is Baby Blues Connection?
Baby Blues Connection (BBC) is the only non-profit in the Portland area providing free support and resources to families coping with perinatal mood disorders.
Founded in 1994, BBC exists to support and educate all women and families at risk for postpartum and antepartum depression, and anxiety. Their 24-hour “warm line” is the first step. A ‘Request a Call’ feature is even available for parents who might not feel comfortable making an initial call. Trained volunteers return any and all phone calls to parents, grandparents, aunts and close friends, always providing non-judgmental and confidential support. Phone relationships last for as long as the caller needs and desires. Often times, this kind, supportive ear is the first positive encounter for the caller in crisis.
Additionally, BBC offers peer support groups comprised of women and men who have been through perinatal depression and anxiety themselves. Groups meet throughout the Portland metro area and a complete list of groups and their locations can be found on the BBC webpage. The unique group model allows new members to identify with others in various stages of recovery and treatment, and these support groups are strengthened as each member contributes to its existence and continuation. Many come to simply share experiences or find ways to manage the emotions they are going through.
Baby Blues Connection provides information about the latest research and treatment of perinatal mood disorders to members and professionals alike. A current referral list of specialists in the area is always available upon request. They also offer free educational presentations with the goal of helping to work toward normalizing and destigmatizing perinatal mood disorders in both women and men. Helping the community feel more at ease with talking about this topic is crucial, as it is so important for families to feel supported in speaking up.
As mothers and fathers who have experienced perinatal mood disorders, the team at BBC is keenly aware of the lack of information and support available, and often the shame that many families may feel if they are struggling. As a result, Baby Blues Connection stands for this possibility…Parents will feel heard, acknowledged and supported, and will have informed resources to turn to, so that postpartum distress is lessened or eliminated, and parents do not feel alone or afraid.
As an organization with just one paid staff member, Baby Blues Connection strives to be extremely efficient, utilizing a team of volunteers that offers almost all the direct support provided to families who seek the help of this organization. The total operating budget at BBC is less than $70k per year and they truly make every dollar count!
At Trillium, we know the importance of getting services early and focusing on helping families heal. That’s why we want to give everyone at Baby Blues Connection some recognition this season and share with you the great work this team does. Many of the families we work with and even some of our staff have experienced postpartum and antepartum depression, so we know very well just how lonely and debilitating the symptoms can feel. Helping give families a positive start is so integral. Thank you, Baby Blues Connection, for all that you do on behalf of families in our community!
How can you help?
If you want to help Baby Blues Connection, you can make a donation through Willamette Week’s Give!Guide campaign. A donation of $10 allows BBC to provide 50 outreach brochures, which can help families educate themselves and get connected to this organization. A $50 donation can train one BBC volunteer, who will spend 2-4 hours per week providing direct care to families in crisis. Your donation can provide some much needed support to someone in need and help youth in our community have the best start possible!