How to Find Perinatal Mental Health Support in CA

How to Find Perinatal Mental Health Support in CA

First things first – what exactly is perinatal mental health?  Great question!  Perinatal mental health refers to mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  Historically, perinatal mental health has often centered new and expectant mothers.  However, this term also refers to the mental health of fathers and parents of all genders.  So if you are a new parent looking for support with your mental health, you’re in the right place!

In this post, I outline how to find the following perinatal mental health resources:

  • a Therapist Who Specializes in Perinatal Mental Health
  • a Therapist Who Works With Your Insurance
  • a Therapist Who Offers Sessions at a Reduced Rate
  • Free Online Perinatal Support Groups
  • Low-Cost or Free Perinatal Mental Health Resources Near You
  • Emergency Mental Health Support
  • Additional Perinatal Mental Health Resources 

 

The resources below are not exhaustive.  Think of this as a good place to start (and, if we’re lucky, end) your search.  Read on to find perinatal mental health supports online and near you.

 

How to Find a Therapist Who Specializes in Perinatal Mental Health

If you know you’d like to work with someone who specializes in perinatal mental health, check out the Postpartum Support International Provider Directory.  

It can be overwhelming to sort through hundreds of provider profiles.  To make it easier, use the filter feature to narrow down the list of therapists to browse through.  Focus on the following filters:

Location

I recommend narrowing down by zip code or city.  If you are open to online therapy, you may prefer to connect with someone out of the area. (For many of us in smaller communities, it can feel comforting to meet with a therapist who is less likely to have relationships in common with you.)  In this case, search as wide as the State of California.  

Additional Training/Certification

This directory is unique because you can filter based on providers who have completed specialized training in perinatal mental health.  If you see a therapist with the letters “PMH-C” after their name, it means they are certified in perinatal mental health by Postpartum Support International.      

This directory also allows you to filter based on provider availability, ages served, fee information/payment options, in-person/online appointments offered, insurance, languages, gender identity, additional specialties, and treatment orientation. 

 

How to Find a Therapist Who Works With Your Insurance

To find a therapist who works with your insurance, check out Psychology Today.

Again, you’ll want to narrow down the list of therapists using their filter feature.  I recommend the following: 

Issues

Click “Issues,” select “Show More Issues,” and then select “Pregnancy, Prenatal, Postpartum.”  You can also select any other issues that you feel will be important to address in therapy.  

Insurance

Click “Insurance,” select “Show More Insurances,” and then select your insurance.

Location

Narrow by zip code or city, then click on the + or – signs towards the top of the page to toggle a wider or smaller search radius.  This will show you more or less listings.  Again, if you prefer online therapy with an out-of-area provider, search as wide as the State of California. 

This directory also allows you to filter based on provider gender, type of therapy offered, ages served, price (inc. whether or not they offer sliding scale), ethnicity served, sexuality, language, and faith.

 

How to Find a Therapist Who Offers Sessions at a Reduced Rate 

Providers offering therapy at a reduced rate (as low as $30/session) can be found through Open Path Psychotherapy Collective.

Filter by:

Location

For in person therapy, narrow by zip code and search radius (10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles).  For online therapy, narrow to the State of California.

Specialties

Scroll through the drop down menu to select any specialties that address your specific needs.  Below I’ve noted some that may be relevant to you as a new parent (in the order that they appear in the menu):

  • Adoption/Foster Care Issues
  • Parenting
  • Adjusting to Change/Life Transitions
  • Caregiver Issues or Stress
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Life Purpose
  • Identity Issues
  • Stress
  • Women’s Issues
  • Anxiety
  • Single Parenting Issues
  • Birth

This directory also allows you to filter based on provider ethnicity, modality, treatment orientation, ages served, and languages.

 

How to Find Free Online Perinatal Support Groups

Postpartum Support International offers free online support groups led by trained facilitators.  Current offerings include:

  • Perinatal (Pregnancy & Postpartum) Mood Support Group
  • Black Moms Connect
  • Desi Chaat: A support group for South-Asian moms
  • Queer and Trans Parent Support Group
  • Monthly Dad Support Group

 

Register for a group that best meets your needs and start connecting with a community of others who share a similar experience of early parenthood.

 

How to Find Low-Cost or Free Perinatal Mental Health Resources Near You

Contact your county’s Behavioral Health Access Line to request information about local low-cost/free perinatal mental health resources.  An easy way to find their phone number is to Google: “[your county] behavioral health access line.” Based on your needs, you may be connected with a county mental health professional or referred to a local nonprofit agency.    

 

How to Find Emergency Mental Health Support

If you or a new parent you love is experiencing a mental health emergency, it is important to act quickly.  Consider the following:  

Connect With a Crisis Counselor

If you prefer to connect over the phone, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to speak to a trained crisis counselor.  Don’t let the name deter you if your emergency is not related to suicide – as you’ll see on their website, this is a resource for anyone in emotional distress:

No matter what problems you’re dealing with, whether or not you’re thinking about suicide, if you need someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline.  People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness, to name a few.”

Support is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.  

If you prefer texting, reach out to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.  You’ll be connected with a trained volunteer who is there to help you return to a calm, safe state.  If needed, they can also provide referrals for additional support.

Emergency Room

Visit your nearest emergency room to connect with a team of professionals who can offer a safe environment to better assess your emergency.  They will also provide services/resources to help you stay safe when the emergency has passed.   

911

If you or your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.  When possible, request a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officer.  These are officers who have received specialized training to support you during a mental health emergency.  When the officers arrive, they will assess your emergency.  When necessary, they will also support you with safe transportation to the nearest emergency room.   

 

How to Find Additional Perinatal Mental Health Resources

Still haven’t found quite what you’re looking for?  Call or text the PSI Helpline for additional information, support, and resources near you.   

I hope this helps you save a little bit of time and energy in finding the best perinatal mental health support for your needs.  As a California-based therapist specializing in perinatal mental health, I would be honored to support you on your journey through pregnancy, the postpartum year, and/or work after baby.  You can read more about my approach here.