Mothers in Arizona Moving Ahead, or MAMA, created and tested an effective approach to addressing poverty and its impact on the health of mothers in poverty. MAMA partnered with nonprofits and engaged community volunteers for sustained support. This relational approach recognizes the impact of social determinants, honors the priorities of the participant, and engages mothers as partners in identifying potential improvements in current health care systems. MAMA created a set of evaluation tools that showed statistically significant change in key areas of perceived stress, overall hope, overall functioning, level of perceived control over their own lives, increased knowledge of resources, and improved social capital. While mental health issues were widely reported, MAMA improved mental health on an average of four days a month.
We encourage interested organizations to contact us if interested in replication. Our kit will be available soon with all required documents and tools. We are available for consultation. There is flexibility in adapting this to your community and we believe this can work in urban and rural communities. Our participants and partners were diverse, including Spanish dominant classes, and we experimented with a PAPA and a Veteran’s site with positive outcomes, indicating adaptability to other populations and settings. We designed the program to be as low-cost as possible and therefore sustainable.