Ann Balcom. Photo courtesy of St. Clair Child and Youth Services.Ann Balcom. Photo courtesy of St. Clair Child and Youth Services.

Commitment to postpartum services continues thanks to memorial donation

A $50,000 donation, made in memory of former St. Clair Child and Youth Services [SCCYS] staff member Ann Balcom, will ensure the work she helped launch to enhance local postpartum services continues.

The contribution, made by the Balcom family, will be used to further develop and expand the local postpartum support group, improve services, and resources for participants.

Interim Executive Director Craig McKenzie said Balcom's tireless efforts and commitment, positively impacted the lives of many families in Sarnia-Lambton.

“Ann had an unwavering passion for families in need of PPMD [postpartum mood disorders] support," said McKenzie. "She was a wonderful colleague, a champion, a mentor, and most importantly a kind and generous support for those families struggling with postpartum."

McKenzie said the funding will help pay for staff training, reach out to more families, and stabilize the program for the next two years.

"Moms can show up with their infants and find community, and find support," he said. "Sometimes it's as simple as having that peer support and non-judgmental voice to help them get through the tough days."

Balcom, who passed away in June, 2023, had a lengthy career in nursing, before she "truly found her calling, developing and enhancing the Post Partum Program" with SCCYS in 1997.

"Ann spent 23 years with the SCCYS, where she would say she 'loved every minute of it,'" her obituary reads. "She and her team touched over a thousand people’s lives while she was there. Ann would often be approached by people when she was out and about in Sarnia, who would thank her and her colleagues at the Post Partum Program for literally saving their life."

Following her retirement in 2020, Balcom volunteered with the Inn of the Good Shepherd's Mobile Market garden program.

According to SCCYS, one in five new mothers will experience a postpartum mood disorder.

The organization said the good news is that PPMD is 100 per cent treatable and community partnerships are well positioned to provide a holistic and supportive approach to care.

For more information about the eight week Post-Partum Mood Disorders Support Group click here.

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