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Maine Behavioral Healthcare Licensed Clinical Social Worker Achieves Perinatal Mental Health Certification

November 07, 2021

With the new certification, Jenna Nunziato can better provide care and services for women’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period

Jenna Nunziato
Jenna Nunziato, LCSW, PMH
Portland, Maine – Blanca Gurrola, vice president of clinical services for Maine Behavioral Healthcare, announced today that licensed clinical social worker Jenna Nunziato has completed coursework to become certified in Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) by Postpartum Support International. With the PMH certification, Nunziato can better provide care and services for women’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period, as well as help treat mood disorders and normative distress experienced by people trying to conceive, in pregnancy and after birth. To achieve the PMH certification, Nunziato completed courses on a broad range of topics, including differential diagnosis of perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder, pharmacology, pregnancy and breastfeeding, perinatal loss and grief, attachment theory, evidence-based interventions and barriers to care.

“Jenna’s newly acquired skills and certification allow her to provide people who are coping with perinatal or postpartum mood and anxiety disorder even better options for care and success,” said Gurrola, who oversees outpatient treatment and services at Maine’s leading behavioral health provider. “We are proud of her accomplishment and grateful for her interest in expanding her expertise in service to Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s patients.”

Nunziato says that untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can lead to chronic mental health issues for the parent and impair attachment and development for the child, increasing their own likelihood of mental health issues, developmental issues, and poor life and health outcomes.

“As part of our ‘death-denying’ society, many parents feel shamed out of discussing loss, including miscarriage, stillbirth or failed IVF cycles, and because of this stigma, they may not seek mental health care to process the grief, leading to chronic distress,” Nunziato said. “The Perinatal Mental Health training and certification has helped me work with a number of postpartum and pregnant patients to help them connect to local resources for parenting support, learn about the cause of their symptoms, provide psychoeducation about stress with role adjustment in the transition to parenthood, openly discuss their emotions about pregnancy loss, and address ‘shadow losses’ such as breastfeeding issues or not being able to have certain maternal experiences due to COVID.”

Nunziato earned her bachelor’s in psychology at the University of New Hampshire in 2008 and her master’s in social work at the University of Southern Maine in 2014. She now provides care and treatment of clients at Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Lancaster Street outpatient practice located in Portland.

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About Maine Behavioral Healthcare
Maine Behavioral Healthcare is a leading provider of mental health services, with over 30 outpatient locations throughout southern, western and mid-coast Maine, as well as Spring Harbor Hospital, providing an integrated continuum of comprehensive, coordinated behavioral healthcare for Maine residents of all ages. Learn more at MaineBehavioralHealthcare.org.

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.

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