© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mental health support group available for new parents in Dayton

POEM is a peer support group for new parents dealing with mental health issues.
POEM is a peer support group for new parents dealing with mental health issues.

When Ebony Wilson went through a difficult period after childbirth, her mental health took a turn. She was told her newborn daughter only had a 30% chance of survival. She then came across a peer support group for new parents.

“I was truly suffering from a high level of anxiety. But through having support and a person that I can lean on and just appear to be able to make it through, what would appear a dark time,” Wilson said.

The mental health support program, POEM, or Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms and birthing persons, is now available in Dayton. It is a support group for new parents dealing with postpartum depression and mental health issues.

Postpartum depression and other mental health conditions are the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Data from The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that the prevalence of postpartum depression has increaseddramatically over the past decade.

Wilson now works with the organization to provide support to more people who need help. Participants are linked to mentors who give emotional support through pregnancy, childbirth, or the loss of their baby. The group wants to let people in Dayton know that help is available.

POEM meetings are every second and fourth Thursday evenings at Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley.

“It's just life changing work for not only ourselves and our participants, to be able to just navigate a space that can feel just really low at times, to be able to have an outlet and to just get back on the good foot and march forward, with just someone marching right alongside of you,Wilson said.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.