Families have a new support system to turn to: Cincinnati Children’s new Wellbeing Center is here to provide comprehensive psychological support and mental health care for families affected by Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). The center offers research-proven treatments for all ages focused on enhancing both physical and mental health. If a member of your family has CHD, the new center helps to navigate through challenges, regain a sense of hope and resilience and improve overall wellbeing.
A team of experts — psychologists, social workers and child life specialists — are available to help everyone, from expecting parents who receive a prenatal cardiac diagnosis, to infants, children, and teens, and adults born with heart disease — as well as family members. In 2022, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a scientific statement to inspire new standards for the integration of mental health care into congenital heart centers emphasizing the critical role mental health plays for everyone who is living with CHD. While tremendous resilience is common among people living with CHD, many people still experience ongoing stress and have difficulties; in fact, the statement says that one in two adults with CHD suffer from anxiety or depression at some time in their lives, and one in three parents of children with CHD can develop posttraumatic stress.
The Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center is also conducting groundbreaking research into parental mental health collectively with the Heart Institute’s Fetal Heart Program at Cincinnati Children’s. Currently, the Center is leading or supporting more than 30 studies carried out in partnership with families.
For the latest updates and more information, visit cincinnatichildrens.org.
Who Is the Center For?
- Expecting parents who have received a prenatal diagnosis, whether through the Fetal Heart Program or another healthcare provider
- Infants, children and teens with heart disease
- Adults referred through the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program or another healthcare provider
- Parents, caregivers, siblings and partners of people with congenital heart disease
- While living with heart disease can be overwhelming, the center provides care and therapy during periods of wellness or poor health, and during times of transition and adjustment