WHATCOM COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS
Whatcom County is situated on the traditional homelands of the Coast Salish People, including the Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Tribe. Located in the northwestern corner of Washington State, Whatcom County is the ninth most populous county in Washington State with a population of 226,847 according to the 2020 census. The 2018 Community Health Assessment showed that approximately 40% of the population lives in Bellingham, the county seat. Another 17.5% of the population resides within the six smaller cities, and 42.4% live in unincorporated areas. Young children in Whatcom County are more racially and ethnically diverse than the county’s population as a whole.
About half of Whatcom County births are financed through Medicaid, one measure of families experiencing lower household income. We are working to develop county-level data on perinatal mental health, knowing that disparities in other areas of health by income, gender, age, or race and ethnicity are evident.
SEE OTHER COMMUNITIES WITH PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCES
WHATCOM PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH TASK FORCE
In January of 2017, the First Steps Coalition of Whatcom County formed a Task Force on Perinatal Mental Health. The Whatcom County First Steps Coalition functions to coordinate services, develop prioritized needs, and inform community planning related to pregnant and parenting women. The Coalition members provide expert information related to the current service landscape for maternal child health and identified unmet needs.
We are a group of parents and professionals working together to build community capacity to improve pregnancy and postpartum well-being for new parents and their families in Whatcom County.
Our Task Force is fiscally sponsored by Whatcom Family & Community Network, whose mission is to promote the well-being of children, youth, and families by convening and supporting communities to build their capacity. Together, our collective vision is a community where all Whatcom families have the opportunity to build strong connections, feel empowered, and experience the possibility of love in their relationships. We believe that improving perinatal mental health is the most upstream work we can do to ensure that our community thrives.
Please visit our new website for information and tool for parents and providers: https://whatcomperinatal.org/
CURRENT GOALS FOR WHATCOM COUNTY INCLUDE:
CONTACT: Allison Williams
Whatcom Perinatal Mental Health Task Force
MEETING DATES: 2023 meetings are January 19th, April 20th, July 20th, October 19th, 2023
3rd Thursday of each quarter from noon to 1:30 PST.