Hennepin Healthcare to Break Ground on New Healing Haven for Families

Patient families, including kids, will be part of groundbreaking of the new Redleaf Center for Family Healing, serving mothers, fathers and families coping with depression and anxiety on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Mothers and families struggling with the emotional and psychological challenges of pregnancy and parenting will celebrate Hennepin Healthcare’s groundbreaking of its Redleaf Center for Family Healing. Patient families, including kids and Hennepin County Commissioner District 3 Marion Greene will help break ground at the ceremony at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, outside Hennepin Healthcare on Chicago and Sixth Street.

The Center is a $30 million endeavor initiated by a $10 million transformational gift from the Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation and a $2.25 million donation from the Pohlad family. The families will be honored at this event. The Center is projected to be completed in 2020.

One in seven new parents experience depression and other anxiety conditions – the most common complications of childbirth. The Redleaf Center for Family Healing will serve as a safe haven for struggling parents and families in need of help.

Through parent-child, integrative and resilience-promoting practices – and in partnership with communities most impacted by health inequities – the Redleaf Center will build parent capacity with a new model of care.

Support will be provided in the form of mental health and clinical services, a holistic nutrition and teaching kitchen, childcare services, integrative health services, and a family healing network.

About Hennepin Healthcare Foundation
Hennepin Healthcare Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the mission of Hennepin Healthcare. Founded in 2009, the foundation connects the generosity of the community to programs impacting patient care, community health, medical education and clinical research.

Decrease in daylight can cause anxiety about seasonal changes

Aerial drone view of wineyards fields from the top at the sunset. Drone Aerial View Concept.Autumn is the season of harvest, bright fall colors, sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. It is also a reminder that winter is right around the corner. As the amount of sunlight continues to decrease, one might notice her or his energy decreasing as well. This noticeable drop in energy is not uncommon for us living north of the equator. Many also report an increase in sadness, carbohydrate and sweet cravings, as well as withdrawing from physical and social activities.

If you have noticed a few of these changes, you are not alone. Some may refer to the changes in mood that align with the seasons, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is hard to know the prevalence of SAD due to unreported cases, undiagnosed SAD, or the co-occurrence of SAD symptoms with other health conditions; however, an article in 2015 written by Sherri Melrose estimated that 9% of Alaskan residents have a SAD diagnosis compared to 1% of Florida residents. The data reported by this article supports the theory that regions in the northern latitude have a higher prevalence of SAD, and sadly, that includes us Minnesotans. Continue reading “Decrease in daylight can cause anxiety about seasonal changes”

New program supports emotional health of moms and babies

First of its kind program in Minnesota offers mental health services to support women and families — including a “Day Hospital” 

MotherBabyimageThe Mother-Baby Program at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is the first of its kind in Minnesota, offering a range of mental health services to support women and families. Only three other programs of this type  exist nationwide.

With a mission to support families by strengthening the emotional health and parenting capacity of mothers, this unique program includes outpatient psychiatry services, a HopeLine triage and resource line, and a day hospital for pregnant women and mothers experiencing depression, anxiety, or other emotional distress. Continue reading “New program supports emotional health of moms and babies”

Health of babies is dependent on physical and emotional health of moms

Dr. Helen Kim

Just in time for Mother’s Day,  an essay published in JAMA this week  authored by Dr. Helen Kim from HCMC  shines a light on mothers with mental illness and their children.  This essay describes the dilemma well-meaning healthcare providers create by telling mothers with depression that taking medication to help themselves will harm their babies.  As the essay describes, the health of babies is dependent on the physical and emotional health of their mothers.

Research shows that infants and very young children are particularly vulnerable when living with a depressed or mentally ill parent.  In these young children – ages zero to 3 – stress regulatory systems and brain development are impacted by a depressed caregiver.  This sets the stage for social and emotional problems in children and lowers the possibility for success in all realms of life.

“Depression in parents – both mothers and fathers – undermines healthy development in children and sets them on a trajectory for problems down the road,” explains Dr. Kim.  “But when depressed mothers are treated, they are calmer and more responsive to their infants.  The quality of these day-to-day interactions between caregiver and baby are crucial for healthy brain development in children.”

The research is clear — healthier moms make for healthier babies and children.   To support this mother-baby relationship, Dr. Kim is leading an effort to create the HCMC Parent Baby Program which will include a Mother-Baby Day Hospital and a mental health support line for pregnant women and parents of young children.

“The hope is that these programs will support healthy parenting practices and foster healthy mother-baby attachment to support the development of children and break the poverty-depression/anxiety-neglect/maltreatment cycle that many impoverished and at risk families experience,” says Dr. Kim.

Dr. Kim is the Director of the Hennepin Women’s Mental Health Program. With the support of a Bush Fellowship, she has focused on improving the breadth and quality of perinatal mental health care in Minnesota and developing an integrative model of mental health care for pregnant and postpartum women. Her interests also include perinatal psychopharmacology, maternal-infant health, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and improving access to mental health care for underserved mothers and families. She trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

Read Dr. Kim’s entire essay at http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/307/18/1923.full