Founder and CEO, Lauren DePaola is on a mission to help women and families suffering through perinatal mental health problems. Having suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of her first child, Lauren understands first hand the struggles many women go through. She advocates in the United States for perinatal mental health and is involved in leading organizations.
Better Beginnings is birthed from this goal to be a center that supports parents through the emotional journey. As a team, we bring all the resources together for your care. We have physical locations in both Alachua and Orange Park, Florida and offer telehealth/online services for both counseling and psychiatry throughout the state.
When a child comes into this world, its not just a baby that’s born, the parents are “born,” too. We must care for parents’ health for overall healthy outcomes. This mindset drives how we take care of those who choose us to be partners in their health.
Through evidence-based tools proven to provide long-lasting relief of emotional health complications, you can go from “surviving” to thriving.
We have a passion for the success of growing families. The great news is that the tools to help families are available, we just have let more people know that you are not alone, you can get better.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida. I have lived in Alachua and nearby counties since 1990 and have worked professionally within these communities for over 10 years. In addition to private practice, I am past President of the Florida chapter of Postpartum Support International (and a local volunteer coordinator), Co-Founder of the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and founder of the Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition.
I am a mother of two and wife of 19 years and counting. I understand from a personal standpoint the complexities that parenting and the reproductive years present with a focus on the client’s individual and unique experience. No resources specializing in perinatal mental health were existing in North Central Florida when I became a mother, yet were greatly needed. This is where my passion for opening a specialized center of care for women and families comes from.
I strive to practice and build a team of providers focused on both a practical and evidence-based model of treatment, with the goal of serving YOU, the client in a holistic manner to reach the goals you set. The client is in the driver’s seat of the therapeutic process with the clinician as an active guide. The therapeutic relationship works best when YOU feel as though your time, energy and monetary investment are being made worth your while.
Better Beginnings opened our first physical location in Alachua, FL (just outside of Gainesville) in January of 2019. We also have a physical location in Orange Park/Jacksonville, FL. Additionally, we provide online/telehealth counseling and medication prescribing/psychiatry to teens and adults throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana. More to come…watch us grow!
Having your child nearby during treatment greatly reduces the burden on you. This time is challenging enough without having to worry about what to do with baby. Please feel free to bring baby with you during your visit with us. Multitasking as a parent is normal- we are right here with you!