Since becoming a parent, I’ve ventured into some writing and advocacy work in the parental health realm. For this educator and literacy researcher, it’s been refreshing to develop my voice and leadership skills outside of my trained areas of expertise.
In honor of New Jersey’s Mental Health Awareness Week, I am sharing some of the work I’ve been involved with in partnership with New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). NJEA is working on several projects connected to parental health, including a “Building a Family” workshop series addressing important topics such as pregnancy loss, overcoming infertility, and the adoption/fostering process. Inspired by this workshop series, I’m working with the Lactation Rights Task Force to develop additional workshops on parental health topics.
In my new role as a Paid Leave Leader in New Jersey, I’m receiving training from the NJ Time to Care Coalition to raise awareness about paid leave and advocate for expanded benefits. For those outside of New Jersey, the national partner organization for paid leave awareness and advocacy is Family Values at Work.
To learn more about Maternal Health Awareness Day (also known as 1234Moms, since it occurs annually on Jan. 23), see the following Calendar of Events from the State of New Jersey. You can also learn more about New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ Strategic Plan, “a statewide awareness campaign committed to reducing maternal and infant mortality and ensuring equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities.”
Special thanks to NJEA, New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition, First Lady Tammy Murphy’s office, NJ Time to Care Coalition, and New Jersey Citizen Action and for your advocacy and efforts to support New Jersey parents.