Follow South Jersey - January 12, 2024 - By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
CAMDEN, N.J. — The Alma Program in Camden is specifically looking out for new mothers who need help dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety and have no one to turn to.
Mothers helping new mothers through the trials of becoming a parent through the Alma Program. It’s What’s Good in South Jersey — with Isaiah Showell.
Assistant director Yvette Pittman is determined to be the bridge to helping these mothers find services to help combat depression. The Alma Program is the first of its kind in New Jersey. The model comes from The University of Colorado Boulder where peer mentors who are mothers are assigned to new mothers to help them sort through life challenges and create action plans to tackle some tough circumstances.
Pittman, a former correctional officer and now advocate for women, wants to be a servant and helper for the mothers she meets, and through The Alma Program she can accomplish that.
The Alma Project assistant director Yvette Pittman. Photo credit: Isaiah Showell.
“One thing about our program is even though there’s only with us from 6-8 weeks our plans to have supportive services post program so they’ll still have support,” said Pittman.
The checklist for becoming a peer mentor is that you must already be a mother and speak the same language as your client while also having overcome similar challenges your client has faced. Peer mentor Tamiya Griffin knows first-hand what it’s like to be a mother and feel isolated from any form of help.
“I was just graduating college; I was the first in my family and friend group and not a lot of people knew how to support me,” said Griffin.
Mental health services are available to the new mothers through the program called Crossing Wellness, emphasizing trust between therapist and client. With the collaboration between The Alma Program and Crossing Wellness, mothers can trust they are in good hands with the therapists and peer mentors setting up action plans and regiments to help to mothers combat their anxiety and depression while carrying their children.
In order to learn more about The Alma Program visit Alma@fhiworks.org and go grab the help you need; the Alma Program is definitely What’s Good in South Jersey this week!