The Seleni Institute has held its first Young Parent Expo in New York City to extend its current services to pregnant and parenting adolescents between the ages of 14-22 in an event fully aligned with its aims to reach more pregnant and postpartum teenage girls with reproductive and maternal mental health services.
The first Seleni Young Parent Expo, held earlier this month, hosted dozens of young parents and children from the city’s family shelter system. Through an interactive day of programming, participants and Seleni clinicians discussed newborn care and feeding, parent-infant bonding techniques, and strategies for selfcare. Gloria Malone, Seleni’s teen parent advocate, also captivated the audience with her compelling story of strength and passion for destigmatizing teen pregnancy and parenting. Each mother received a diaper bag filled with newborn necessities, and members of Seleni staff were on hand to provide lunch and onsite childcare. Now planned as a quarterly event for 2016, Seleni is working to strengthen partnerships with additional community organizations to reach an even broader audience.
“Parenting can be stressful at any time of life and particularly so the younger you are; young women deserve the same support and opportunities for success as any mother during the transition to parenthood, said Nitzia Logothetis, founder and executive chairwoman of the Seleni Institute. “Seleni has a stated commitment to promoting pregnant teens and teen mothers' success in adulthood through evidence-based mental health care and we are honored to be a part of that critical care framework for them at a time when individual support is so vital.”
The Seleni Institute is dedicated to providing care, information and research funding critical to supporting mothers and families. The Seleni Institute Teen Initiative (SITI) was launched in May 2015 to widen its service offering pregnant and parenting adolescents aged 14-22. SITI provides both direct support to these adolescents via individual psychotherapy, group support, and general information on the psychological effects of pregnancy and new motherhood, as well as professional training on reproductive mental health for clinicians working with a pregnant adolescent population. Over 200,000 babies are born to teenage girls in the United States each year. Compared with their peers who delay childbearing, teen girls who have babies are less likely to finish high school or manage without public assistance. Consequently, their likelihood of adult poverty is greater which impacts on their children who are at greater risk of poorer educational, behavioral, and health outcomes over the course of their lives.
To learn more about the Seleni Institute Teen Initiative:
please visit www.seleni.org/siti or call 212-939-7200.