By Gretchen Salyer,
Founder and CEO of June Care
November 11, 2022
Moms’ Mental Health is in Crisis…and Here’s What We Can Do About It
During the pandemic, moms of young children faced higher levels of financial stress and isolation than ever before. That, combined with juggling careers, households and motherhood with a lack of support and viable childcare options, has pushed moms to their breaking point. But there is a way out of it. Here’s what we can do to support one another and combat this crisis, together.
In a pre-pandemic world, new moms were already more prone to experience mental health disorders. In fact, up to 25 percent of new mothers experienced anxiety and/or depression. Since March 2020, that percentage has skyrocketed to 40-79 percent, according to frontiers in global women’s health.
This mental health crisis among moms is mainly attributed to financial stress and isolation. As has been well reported, the U.S. is the only wealthy country in the world with no paid maternity leave for new moms and extremely limited subsidized childcare. This puts many new mothers in an impossible scenario where they need to physically recover and care for a new life while trying to figure out how to cover their family’s basic financial needs.
In addition to the lack of financial support, parents of young children are also subject to our nation’s childcare crisis which prevents many mothers from going back to work to earn a stable income. More than half of American families live in childcare deserts, where there is only one available childcare slot for every 3 families who need it. This crisis was exacerbated during the pandemic with nearly 16,000 providers across the U.S. permanently closing between Dec. 2019 – March 2021. In fact, more than two million working moms were pushed out of the workforce during that same timeframe to care for and educate their children. Unfortunately, signs of recovery for childcare access and resources for new parents have yet to arrive.
Beyond financial stress, many mothers of young children struggle with feelings of isolation and a lack of emotional support. Between not sleeping at night, juggling nap times, diaper changes, activity schedules and most of the household responsibilities, moms are left with little opportunity to connect with other families, plan meet-ups or find the social-emotional connections they need to maintain healthy levels of mental wellness. Research shows that emotional connection and emotional support, particularly from local sources, helps dramatically mitigate anxiety and depression for families, particularly mothers.
Even as the world has started to open back up, moms of little kids risk being left behind. Mothers still struggle to find childcare and/or opportunities to earn money while they are caring for their kids. They also find it hard to ask for help (or offer it) since everyone has become more isolated and “self-sufficient” as a result of lockdowns and health scares associated with COVID-19. It is a fact, however, that people everywhere – especially new moms – need community and emotional support in order to combat anxiety, depression, loneliness and financial insecurity.
The good news is there is a way out of this crisis… and it is by creating community.
A new platform, June Care, is working to do just that by connecting parents to support one another in a way that harkens back to a time when families were able to live in community and rely on each other.
June Care connects parents who need childcare with stay-at-home parents who can care for their kids. The platform invites parents to ask for help, and offer help to each other in a way that is bringing communities back together.
As the platform enables parents to easily find and connect with other families in their neighborhood, each match is an opportunity for moms and their families to socialize, connect and contribute to their own mental wellness and the family balance sheet.
“Not only are the children who are being cared for in an environment hand-picked by their parents but it also helps support stay-at-home mothers who need to create some type of income.”
— FELICIA, DAVIS, CA
The best part about the June Care experience are the connections that are formed between families in support of one another. “June” stands for Joining Up Neighbors Everywhere and the platform is doing just that. Once families are able to rely on each other for access to the childcare and income they need, moms don’t need to live in isolation or fear of financial insecurity which helps to reduce levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Most exciting is the impact these June Care communities have on our children. Our kids need to see us working together, across socio-economic, racial and cultural divides in service to building stronger, more loving societies that help everyone reach their full potential.
No one is coming to save us, moms. But together, we can heal and grow and create a beautiful village. Parents who are interested in joining the June Care community as care seekers or care providers can sign-up for free at Junecare.co.
Gretchen Salyer is the founder and CEO of June Care, a community-based approach to childcare.