11 mental health resources for parents

Published: April 20, 2023

Parents: Do you find the challenges of raising children daunting? You are not alone.

Three years of a pandemic, with Covid-19 still lurking in the shadows, has complicated the once-simple ritual of sending children to school. Helping children navigate — or simply shielding them from — social media has replaced the important task of helping them with homework. Even instilling in them a sense of safety can sometimes feel impossible.

The good news is that in Fairfield County, you can find a full selection of mental health resources to help you and your family cope with all kinds of emotional challenges.

A great place to start is the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families, which offers dozens of in-person and virtual resources, for parents and expectant parents, including the sampling below.

1. Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

This organization provides the education, support, and confidence you need to be a great parent. From answering questions about pregnancy, to preparing for the arrival of your newborn, to managing a crying baby, this site can help you.

2. Birth Support Education and Beyond, LLC

This comprehensive perinatal support program features a team of perinatal support specialists, including labor, birth, and postpartum doulas, childbirth and parent educators, lactation consultants, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorder specialists, who provide informative care throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting into the early preschool years. They also have expertise in working with youth and young adults with significant trauma histories, mental health diagnoses, and vulnerable populations.

3. Home Visiting Programs

Home-based support for young children, pregnant women, expectant fathers, and parents and caregivers of children younger than 5 years old. The six different types of home visiting programs are all designed to meet the needs of families with young children.

4. Young Parents Program

This organization supports young parents and pregnant teens through prenatal and parenting education. It also helps parents further their educational and vocational goals.

5. Resources for Fathers

Need advice on fatherhood? Act for Youth is a weblink that provides educational resources on the benefits of being an active father and developing parenting and life skills. Teen Fathers Mentoring offers an accredited teen fathers mentoring program to help young men become confident, nurturing parents and realize the full potential of their relationship with their children.

6. Family and Children's Agency

Child and family development services for families and their young children. This program focuses on the critical early years of a child’s life, birth to age 5, to support strong foundations for future success. All programs, including Parents as Teachers, Maternal Outreach Mentoring Services and The Fatherhood Initiative, are free, primarily home-based and available in English and Spanish in the greater Norwalk area.

7. The Child Guidance Clinic

Free, in-home parenting support for new parents and parents of children up to 5 years. The clinic offers phone support, parenting groups, and intensive in-home support.

8. Wise Arriving Prenatal Support Group

This group offers monthly discussions on Zoom with experts who cover various topics such as nutrition, herbs, lactation, and more. Participation is free. Partners are welcome. Click here to register.

9. Mothers Care Doula Services

A doula can help to ease the stress and increase the joy of having a baby by providing everything from labor support to in-home daytime or overnight care. Another doula service serving Fairfield County is Birth Partners Doulas.

For breastfeeding support, check out La Leche League, which has regular meetings for breastfeeding moms in Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Newtown/Monroe, Ridgefield, Shelton/Milford, and Wilton. You can also search for a private lactation counselor in your area for individualized attention and assistance.

10. Postpartum Support International

This organization promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing and connects women with support. Visit the Connecticut chapter page for a list of contacts and local resources.

11. Life After Birth

This is a Westport-based, weekly support group where new as well as experienced moms can connect with other moms and discuss the postpartum experience. Visit the Hypnobirthing of CT website for information on how to sign up.

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