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INSPIRE: Curriculum to deal with Perinatal Mood Disorder using Storytelling and Creativity

Technology #2017-081

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INSPIRE Curriculum License
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Rebecca Temkin
Katherine Schertz
Managed By
Andrea Dick
Associate Director, Licensing 848-932-4018

Perinatal mood disorder, includes major and minor depressive episodes that occur during pregnancy or shortly after delivery and is a common medical complication, affecting one in seven women.[i]

The INSPIRE project at Rutgers University has been created to help women who are suffering with this disorder.  A curriculum that uses artistic expression and creative story-telling has been designed for the project that will be used in support groups of new and expecting mothers struggling with the transition to motherhood.

The INSPIRE Curriculum

The curriculum is designed for use in a larger project which seeks to reduce the stigma surrounding perinatal depression and anxiety by developing a deeper understanding about the condition among women in a new mom support groups and the larger community.  To this end, the curriculum will be used by support group leaders to facilitate artistic story-telling within their groups.

The artistic pieces created will be gathered and shared between support groups and featured at an exhibit open to the public.

The INSPIRE curriculum has already been put to use in several new mom support groups, and recently, several support group leaders were trained on how to implement it in their own groups.  This spring or summer (2018), the curriculum authors will be putting together a printed collection of the stories and art created using the curriculum.  This book will be distributed to several health care offices so that women and families can benefit and learn from the diverse depictions of new motherhood experiences and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders while they wait for healthcare appointments.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Introductory Session that introduces the INSPIRE project. Participants will share their stories with the option of having their stories captured in audio or video format.

  • Individual Art Sessions where participants create expressive art works.

  • Group Art Sessions where participants create individual pieces of art that are subsequently combined to create a single piece.


Uses artistic work and storytelling to encourage sharing in a simple and comfortable way.  


  • Mental health professionals interested in using the curriculum to provide group counseling for patients perinatal or other forms of depression or anxiety.
  • Self-help groups interested in using the curriculum to benefit a group of individuals but are not lead by a health care professional.
  •  Support groups for mothers of newborns who may be experiencing symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Available through license or distribution agreement.

For information about commercial licenses contact:  Andrea Dick