Masters Thesis

Increasing the capacity of a county in rural Northern California to support perinatal mental health through a participatory change framework

The purpose of this project was to build the capacity of a Perinatal and Postpartum Support Network in a county in rural Northern California to effectively engage, cultivate and build up the community supports that address perinatal mental health. The goal of this Network is to raise awareness of the issues that surround perinatal and postpartum mental health and build up the community supports in order to strengthen the families and the community. This project used a participatory change framework, and the ideologies from community capacity building, to enhance the processes of the current Network and subcommittee members to identify and strengthen community relationships, bridge partnerships, bring new participants to the table, and identify already existing community supports. Outcomes of this project will be used to inspire and support future community leaders and to sustain the current efforts of the Network to support and improve maternal mental health in the county.