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The Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families and its Collaboratives in Racine, Milwaukee, and Kenosha are expanding efforts to reduce the stigma of maternal depression among African American mothers and their families.

The campaign “Strong Moms Are Covered by Strong Villages” gives voice to African American mothers who are suffering from depression and empowers their villages to support and cover, or protect, them. The villages of support may include fathers, family, friends, elders, other mothers, health care providers, clergy, community organizations, and policymakers.

On Thursday beginning at 5:30 pm, all three communities will gather in their respective cities to launch the campaign. The Racine event will take place at the Community Action Agency, 2113 N. Wisconsin St.
The evening will focus on community conversations regarding maternal depression and the disparity of mental health treatment for African American mothers. The evening will also feature storytelling and quilting demonstrations. Quilts, for decades, have represented in the African-American culture a way to bring women together to share stories and create bonds.

“Maternal mental health is a priority because of its influence on the health of mothers, infants and families, and also because data show that symptoms and risk factors of mental illness disproportionately affect Black mothers,” said Gina Green-Harris, Director of the LIHF Program. “It is extremely important to wrap support around these mothers and care for them as they, in turn, support the families they love.”

The “Strong Moms, Strong Villages” campaign focuses on how coming together as united villages can create stronger community bonds for African-American mothers who often suffer in silence with depression.

For more information, contact Samantha Perry, 262-637-8377.

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Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.