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Project Title

Community-based mental health care for mothers of young children

Project Summary

Our goal is to address the mental health and social needs in limited English proficient (LEP) Latina mothers of young children. We have adapted and begun piloting an evidence-based, group intervention for the prevention of maternal depression, Mothers and Babies, in partnership with Judy Center early learning hubs located within three Baltimore City Schools. Early learning center staff recommended program participation to women in their existing programs or who otherwise seem likely to benefit from Mothers and Babies. A therapist co-facilitates the 12-week intervention with a community health worker or school staff. The first pilot program was hosted in-person at an early learning center in January 2020.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we converted the program to a virtual format and added an “ask the doctor,” component to each session to answer participants’ (public) health questions and expanded the pilot to 2 additional Baltimore City Judy Centers. Preliminary results indicate that the program is feasible and acceptable. Up to date, there have been 4 virtual cohorts: October 2020 with mother participants from Commodore John Rodgers and John Ruhrah, Spring 2021 (John Ruhrah and Lakeland), Fall 2021 (John Ruhrah), and Spring 2022 (Lakeland). In anticipation of statewide expansion, close to 40 Judy Centers have received the Mothers and Babies intervention training. Next steps are to continue 1) program evaluation 2) incorporating addressing food insecurity into the existing program, and 3) work with our project partners to expand and sustain Mothers and Babies in Judy Centers throughout Maryland.

Project Details

Principal InvestigatorFunder
Platt, Rheanna – MD, MPHRobert Wood Johnson Foundation
DepartmentProject Start Date
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine8/2018
Other Co-Principal InvestigatorsProject End Date
Bettencourt, Amie – PhD

Polk, Sarah – ScM, MHS

Team Members
Nicole Batkis

Lindsay Cooper

Flor Giusti

Omaira Mejia

Becka Richman
Whitney Visker


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