Newly opened Alliance Center in Stamford provides mental health resources for new mothers

Left to right: Jessica Vanderberg, Mayor Caroline Simmons and Carolyn Kagan at the Alliance Center opening celebration. Photo by Justin McGown.

A The ribbon cutting hosted by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce on August 10 celebrated the opening of the Alliance Center, a facility dedicated to providing the mental and emotional support parents need before, during and after pregnancy. Their services consist of therapy, movement classes, and support groups among other forms of support.

The Alliance Center is located in the northern part of Stamford at 16 Wire Mill Road and is made up of seven people, including co-founders Carolyn Kagan and Jessica Vanderberg, who said they shared a dream of creating a business together that provided a needed service to their community.

“From the very beginning, I always knew it was going to extend beyond me,” said Kagan, a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of mental health experience. Prior to partnering with Vanderberg, she ran the business as Alliance Therapy.

Kagan explained that the name “Alliance” highlights how the best care often requires an alliance of providers from all professions – and, she recalls, it came to her in a dream more than a decade ago.

“But,” she added, “I think that over the past two years, given the number of challenges the mother community has faced, it’s a great time to expand management and we knew that the demand for services was going to increase. the moment we found out about Covid. It made sense. I entered space a year ago. I knew it was going to be home.

“I think our origin story is part of the magic,” said Vanderberg, a social worker and full-spectrum doula who serves as the Alliance Center’s clinical director. “It’s been a vision for me since I started this journey and met Carolyn at a pivotal time. We were both at a workshop on racial disparities in birth outcomes and sat down together. next to each other. We were both passionate about it, we started talking to each other and we hit it off. Now, five years later, we’ve been able to get together and do this.

The entire center is designed to have a tranquil and welcoming atmosphere like a close friend’s home – a touch of style that was noted during the opening ceremony.

“It’s a beautiful place that comforts you as soon as you walk through the door,” said Heather Cavanagh, president and CEO of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, welcoming the Alliance Center to the city. “We are happy to welcome you here at a time when mental health and well-being are at the forefront of our concerns, especially new mothers.”

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons, herself a mother of three boys, shared Cavanagh’s praise.

“I can’t tell you how inspired I am by what you’ve brought to our city here,” Simmons said. “In many ways, this is one of the happiest times of your life, but it can also be one of the most difficult times of your life. I think maybe we don’t talk enough about the number of women who suffer from baby blues or postpartum depression and just try to juggle it all.

Simmons pointed out that two city employees present at the event – ​​Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Carmen Hughes and Special Assistant to the Mayor Leah Kagan (no relation to Carolyn Kagan) were also mothers.

“We’re so passionate about supporting mothers in our city, but also supporting women in business,” Simmons said. “So let me just say you two are powerful and mean rockstars.”

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