Services for mothers highlighted after infant is left outside construction site

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

A program manager for Healthy Families New York is highlighting services available for new moms after a woman left her young son outside a construction site.

Police say a mom who was deemed distressed left her 3-month-old with strangers at a construction site Tuesday.

Roxanne Munroe of Health Families at Brookdale Hospital says mental distress has become more common.

"Especially in the last couple of years, I'm seeing more mental health issues…I think people are just more comfortable identifying that this is real," says Munroe.

MORE: Police: Mother evaluated after apparently leaving baby at construction site

Munroe says social issues, such as housing or relationship problems, can trigger depression in a new mother.

Healthy Families works with mothers while pregnant and post-natal. Participants get mental health screenings to assess the degree of their depression.

There are five sites across Brooklyn that offer this program, which includes home visits. 

It is unclear if the mother involved in Tuesday's incident wanted to abandon her baby. In New York, the Abandoned Infant Protection Act allows a parent to abandon a newborn up to 30 days without being prosecuted, as long as it happens in a safe manner.

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