Supporting Moms: Maternal Mental Health Month and Beyond

Did you know that May is Maternal Mental Health Month? To mark the occasion, we want to remind moms (and all parents!) in our community that Encompass Community Services is here to support you. 

Parenthood comes with a full spectrum of daily challenges and emotions, and prioritizing your health is a key part of ensuring your family’s wellbeing. This year, many parents are feeling particularly overwhelmed, anxious or stressed due to the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. We are here to help! We offer a wide range of counseling and treatment services all year round. Read on for information on how to access these free and low-cost programs.  

Mental health services for moms


Counseling Services: We all need a compassionate listener who can help us relax, live better and gain skills to cope with stressful times. Encompass connects community members with licensed therapists and experienced, certified counselors who specialize in individual, family and couples counseling. All of our counselors have significant experience with supporting people who struggle with substance/alcohol use, mental health challenges, and family issues. Whether you’re looking for focused, short-term therapy to work on a specific goal, or a more comprehensive long-term connection, we can help. Services are open and available to all community members on a sliding-scale fee basis and at no cost to Medi-Cal recipients. Call Alto Counseling Centers at 831-423-2003 (Santa Cruz) or 831-728-2233 (Watsonville) to schedule an appointment. Counseling services are available in English and Spanish.

Substance Treatment Services: Is your alcohol or substance use impacting your day-to-day life? Are family members, co-workers or even the court asking you to get support? You are not alone! We can help you get back on track and work with you to find healing and recovery. Encompass offers individual and group counseling sessions led by professionals trained in evidenced-based approaches to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. We offer inpatient residential treatment and outpatient day treatment services. All services are provided in a relaxed, comfortable setting with flexible hours on a sliding scale fee basis, and at no cost to Medi-Cal recipients. Call our intake hotline at 831-226-3728.

Family Development Services: You may be familiar with our Head Start and Early Head Start programs for our work with children, but did you know that our programs are designed to support the health and wellbeing of the entire family? In addition to child-centered programs, our staff provides research-based curriculum and support for parents and expecting mothers – at no cost to participants. To learn more about the services listed below or to apply for the 2020-2021 program year (we're accepting applications!) contact the our team at (831) 724-3885 or  visit:

Prenatal Services: Our Early Head Start programs include prenatal services that are individualized for each family. These services include weekly wellness check-ins* with expectant mothers to provide guidance and support on topics including physical and emotional changes, stress reduction, employment and finances, health care, childbirth preparation, pre-term labor, after-baby care and family planning. We also help clients secure essential supplies for their new baby, start a daily care routine and learn about bonding and attachment. 
Home Visits: Our Early Head Start program include weekly Home Visits* to offer support,  guidance, information and child development services to you and your family. At enrollment, each of our families completes a Family Strengths and Needs Survey to help us understand any needs your family is experiencing, such as having enough food or a safe place to live. Your child's Primary Care Teacher   or Home Visitor then works with you to develop a plan and can connect you with community resources to meet those needs
Additional Support: Currently, we are also offering resiliency trainings for staff and organizing care packages for families to help them cope with the stress and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Support for Expectant Mothers and Families with Young Children: Encompass’s Families Together program provides counseling, parenting support, and case management to families throughout Santa Cruz County. Using a home visiting model* and a client-centered approach to services, caregivers participate in the development of an individualized service plan based on their unique strengths and needs.

A special pathway within Families Together stems from Santa Cruz County’s “Thrive By Three” efforts. Through this resource, families with young children (prenatal to three years old), receive support specific to these important early years. Caregivers learn about child development as well as ways to parent in a way that feels more attuned and less overwhelming. Nurses are available for consultation on topics such as nutrition, breastfeeding, and infant massage.

If you are a CalWORKs recipient or have been contacted by Families & Children’s Services (Child Welfare or “CPS”), you might qualify! Talk to your EPS worker (831-454-4165) or FCS social worker (831-454-4222) to find out more about Families Together.


*Some in-person appointments, visits and check-ins are currently being offered by phone and telehealth as needed to meet Santa Cruz County shelter-in-place guidelines.