New parents in NYC to get home visits for mental health

Baby rests on mother's shoulder.
Baby rests on mother's shoulder.
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New parents in NYC to get home visits for mental health

The city will partner with community-based organizations to provide up to six visits for all first-time parents.
February 6, 2020

New York City will partner with community-based organizations to ensure all first-time parents in the five boroughs will be able to receive up to six home visits from professionals offering mental health screenings, The New York Times reports. 

The $43 million New Family Home Visits initiative – which also aims to connect parents with health education, guidance on infant feeding and referrals to other social services – will kick off this spring in Brooklyn. Organizations partnering with the city will send a health worker, nurse or doula to visit first-time parents, who can access help regardless of income, gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who heads the city’s mental health initiative ThriveNYC, announced the new program on Wednesday to address burgeoning mental health needs among new parents – up to one in five women face pregnancy-related symptoms of depression or anxiety. ThriveNYC, which has faced criticism for not providing clear measures of success for its work, won’t be responsible for the new initiative, however. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Administration for Children’s Services will be running the program. 

“Home visits are proven to strengthen bonds between parents and their babies, lower the risk for maternal anxiety and depression, and support healthy brain development during a crucial time,” McCray said in a statement.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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