Health & Wellness

Mom2Mom Peer Support Helpline for Mothers of Children with Special Needs Announces Statewide Expansion

February 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Since its launch in fall 2010, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Mom2Mom peer support initiative has been successfully caring for the mental and emotional health of mothers of special needs children in Essex, Union and Morris Counties, reaching 958 families. And now, thanks to a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), the 24/7 Mom2Mom helpline (877-914-MOM2) and related services are available to parents of children with special needs statewide.

“We are truly excited to be able to collaborate with Mom2Mom on this important project and we see it as a natural partnership based on a mutual mission at heart,” said DCF Commissioner Dr. Allison Blake. “Supporting our caregivers through difficult times and in moments of despair is not only fundamental to ensuring the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable of populations—particularly children with special needs—but also to the well-being and success of every member of a respective family.” 

Nicole Pratt is one of the new peer counselors.  She is a single mother of two special needs children, who has been a helpline caller since Mom2Mom’s inception. “I learned about Mom2Mom at a time when I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed by my daughter’s difficult progress. I needed someone to talk to,” Pratt says. “The counselors have been a big help—just by talking to me or calling me to see how I’m doing. They guide me, calm me and help me think clearly.”

Sign Up for E-News

Pratt, who has advocated for children with special needs through community and state organizations and has a B.S. in psychology, decided to train as a counselor because, she says, “I have so much to share with my experiences of having children with two different types of disabilities and with the knowledge I have about services.

“Talking to peers who are trained as counselors is so important to those who call,” Pratt continues. “Unless someone is living the same life, they can only try to understand what we are going through. It’s important for moms of children with special needs to talk to other moms who share their experience and can guide and uplift them.”

“Stories like Nicole’s highlight the need for attention to be paid to caregivers’ mental health,” says Cherie Castellano, M.A., L.P.C., director of Mom2Mom. “We at Mom2Mom thank the Department of Children and Families for its support, which allows us to move forward with our mission to serve mothers and families of children with special needs.”

By dialing the Mom2Mom helpline, a caller receives the following services:

Mom2Mom Peer Counseling Support: Moms of special needs children trained in peer counseling and crisis support will offer peer support, explain resources and explore the needs of helpline callers. Mom2Mom peer support is also available via live chat online through the website (www.mom2mom.us.com) and the Mom2Mom Facebook page offers a forum for mothers and counselors to connect and share resources.

Mom2Mom Clinical Assessment: Mom2Mom clinicians assist as part of the team of clinical professionals available for telephone assessment and gauge the depression, anxiety and family and marital issues, etc., that may be impacting their lives.

Mom2Mom Network: A Mom2Mom database of specially trained service providers is available for referrals for callers’ mental health needs.

Mom2Mom Support Groups: Mom peer supporters are available for monthly Mom2Mom support group meetings in local communities.     

Reporters interested in interviewing Program Director Cherie Castellano or peer support counselors hired for the statewide expansion can contact Patti Verbanas at 973.972.7273 or at verbanpa@umdnj.edu.

Photos of DCF Commissioner Allison Blake meeting the new peer support counselors hired are available here.

About the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey:

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey’s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three medical schools, the State’s only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the State.

 

About the Department of Children and Families:

DCF, New Jersey’s state child welfare agency, was created in July 2006 as the state’s first Cabinet agency devoted exclusively to serving and safeguarding the most vulnerable children and families in New Jersey. DCF includes the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, Division of Family and Community Partnerships, Division of Children’s System of Care and Division on Women. For more information about DCF, please visit http://www.nj.gov/dcf/

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Sat, October 8, 10:00 AM

Montclair High School, LGI Room, Montclair

Road Map to College: College Admission and ...

Education Other

Carousel_image_0dbef356adb362d03387_pmp-2015-07c-300x260__1_

Sun, October 23, 3:00 PM

River Dell High School Auditorium, Oradell

Adelphi Orchestra - Slavic Celebration: Young ...

Arts & Entertainment

Parents are the Only Hope for NJ Public Education

September 25, 2016

I really wanted to take one of my precious few PTO days I had left to drive down to Trenton on September 7th and tell the State Board of Education how disappointed I was in them, again.... but more important things were going on. There was a Kindergarten bus to catch and a first day of school morning to have and I had already wasted 2 of those precious days on a state BOE that has all but ignored ...

Letting the Jean-ie Out of the Bottle

Sometime between the end of last spring and the beginning of this fall, someone snuck into my closet and shrunk all my jeans.  I tried to convince my husband that we had a problem with the dryer, but since all of his jeans still fit, it was a hard sell.  Without thinking it through, he scoffed and suggested that maybe it wasn't the jeans – maybe it was ...

Woman Sexually Assaulted in Woodland Park

September 13, 2016

WOODLAND PARK, NJ -  Police arrested Robert Moschillo shortly after he allegedly assaulted a woman, in front of her house on Cedarhurst Ave Sunday night.

The victim was exiting her vehicle after arriving at her home when an unknown male grabbed her, hit her on the head and began to grab her private areas, said Det. Sgt. John Uzzalino. As the attacked occurred, neighbors ...

Totowa Man Charged with Trafficking Stolen Cell Phones

ROCHELLE PARK, NJ - The Rochelle Park Police arrested a Totowa man who they allege sold hundreds of cellphones after filing fraud cell phone insurance claims. The Rochelle Park police said that they were tipped off by an anonymous tipster on September 1 regarding Junior Santana-Delacruz, who has been charged with trafficking of personal identifying information, theft by deception, and ...

Bane Haunted House Opens its Doors this Weekend

September 24, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Halloween is just around the corner, and for those who get a thrill from being scared—Bane Haunted House opened its doors this weekend, and will remain open through Halloween. According to Jennifer Condron, who owns the attraction with her husband John, Bane is one of the first such attractions in NJ to open this early.

Bane, which is ADA accessible, will be open on ...

Ticket Giveaway to See R&B Group TLC Perform at Wellmont Theatre, Sept. 26

September 19, 2016

MONTCLAIR, NJ - TAPinto Montclair has free tickets for two lucky readers to see R&B groups TLC and En Vogue perform at the Wellmont Theater on September 26.

Promoters announce that TLC and En Vogue will both be performing their greatest hits at 8:00 p.m. on the Wellmont Theater stage located at 5 Seymour St. in Montclair.

TLC, known as the best-selling ...