Time rushes by at PSI. I am honored to have been re-elected as President for two more years, but it’s hard for me to realize that the first two have sped by. We are a busy organization on the move with many new projects in the works which, we hope, will improve the lives of women and families suffering with perinatal mood disorders.
I’d like you to know about a few new PSI initiatives. We are in the midst of starting an Assessment Based Certification program whereby clinicians can learn and be tested on evidence-based methods of assessing and treating PMADs, and can then be listed as certified on a database so the public can ascertain whether or not a provider has specialty training. Look for a rollout this year. Related to that, we hope to start a consultation service this year as well, so that non-specialized clinicians can get evidence-based treatment advice from an expert. We feel this is much needed and especially so now that universal screening is a reality.
Our brand new legal committee is working hard to establish a training program in PMADs for law enforcement officers, district attorneys, judges, defense attorneys and expert witnesses. The committee is also coordinating efforts nationwide to create a databank which would put defenders in touch with attorneys who have experience defending women accused of crimes while suffering from postpartum mental illness.
Expect new enhanced membership rewards shortly, an outreach program which will identify all organizations working with perinatal mood disorders and attempt to form meaningful collaborations, and finally there is the continuing move to create more and more PSI state chapters. The present number of chapters is 12 with lots more in the pipeline, so go ahead and jump on board. Chapters will make the state organizations and PSI stronger and more effective.
The 2016 conference in San Diego was over the top amazing. Many of you know we had more than 400 in attendance, were sold out for 6 weeks and, much to our chagrin, had a bunch of people on a waiting list who could never be accommodated. Many thanks go to Wendy Davis and Lianne Swanson, our tireless PSI staff, and all the volunteers and organizers as well as keynote speakers and presenters. The 2017 conference will be in Philadelphia and registration is open.
I invite everyone who came to the 2016 conference to return, along with newcomers who haven’t yet had a chance to experience the wonderful camaraderie, learning, and professional connection which takes place every year.
We welcome your involvement in PSI. Please don’t hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to email@example.com if you’d like to volunteer or contribute. Thank you all for everything you do to brighten the lives of women and families!
Ann Smith, CNM
PSI President Ann Smith
It’s early July and I am still basking in the glow of the 28th annual PSI conference held this year in Plymouth ,Michigan. We all learned and laughed and cried with our colleagues who are doing remarkable work all over this great country and abroad. It was a time of solidifying old connections and making new ones. Thanks especially to Pam Moffitt from Tree of Hope Foundation which partnered with us, Wendy Davis, Executive Director at PSI and Lianne Swanson, Office Manager and Bookstore Expert for their superb organizing. We had wonderful , innovative presentations and spectacular keynotes culminating in the most poignant, touching , dramatic and remarkable speech from George Parnham that I’ve ever heard him give (and I’ve heard doozies in the past.) It ended with these words, which have been widely quoted by now on social media, “Every child deserves to be raised by a woman as free from mental illness as possible.” For that to happen PSI needs to continue to grow and be available to all moms and families who need us to make sure they know they are not alone and with help they will be well.
If you were not able to be with us this year we hope you will consider it next year when we will again convene in late June in California. The site will be announced shortly.
PSI is healthy and strong and growing at a remarkable rate. We love having as members all the folks from Repro Psych Group who add another dimension to the ” leading organization focused on perinatal mood disorders” as the media now refers to us. And we plan to form state chapters, embark on training for legal and law enforcement professionals, collaborate with other organizations also focused on women’s mental health, and begin a training program for professionals who might be most likely to see a suffering mom before anyone else. Stay tuned for updates in coming months.
I send much gratitude to PSI volunteers wherever they may be, and to our loyal members. If you are currently a member thank you and please continue. We can’t do it without you. If not please become one. Lianne at the PSI office will set you right up or you can go online and renew. Check out our new website at www.postpartum.net.
Best wishes for a Happy Summer
Ann Smith, President of PSI
PSI President Ann Smith
First of all, Happy and Healthy 2015 to everyone. I know this is going to be a year of many activities, opportunities and perhaps challenges for PSI and all members and volunteers. We are so pleased to have everyone involved.
I want to share news about the Board of Directors strategic planning retreat over MLK weekend in New Orleans. Our terrific New Orleans coordinators, Misty Wainwright and Joanne Harmon, as well as Dr Renee Bruno and Amanda Devereux from Nola Nesting joined us for dinner with an update on local activities. The planning retreat is something PSI’s Board does every year to reacquaint ourselves, welcome new members to the Board and look carefully at future plans, budgets, and programs. In fact each Committee comes up with three solid goals for the next year. This year I thought our time together was particularly effective. Some of our goals include the plans to increase our social media presence and connection, increase membership, develop a curriculum to train the law enforcement and legal world in PMDs, and develop fundraising ability such that we could do things like sponsor research and offer financial assistance to allow more people to attend the Conference and PSI trainings. To learn more about our hard-working board members, visit our website here.
It is important to know that Board committees are open to all PSI members. We welcome participation and diversity. In particular we now have a need for folks interested in helping with events, social media, website, and fundraising. If any of you have experience and would like to get involved on any committee, please email Wendy Davis, our Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about helping on committees; we’d love to hear from you.
It’s not too soon to plan for our wonderful Conference in late June, taking place in a gorgeous resort in Plymouth, Michigan which is between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The conference goes from June 24-June 28th, including pre and post conference workshops. Conference details are below, and also on the PSI web site here . And, by the way, the PSI webiste www.postpartum.net will have a whole new look and format shortly. Be sure to check it out!
Thank you for your continued interest and involvement! I hope to see you in Michigan!
Ann Smith, CNM
President, Postpartum Support International
This is my first message as President of PSI. I assumed office in July 2014. It is a great honor to lead this fine organization and stand on the shoulders of many wonderful people who have built and nurtured it.
2014-2015 will be a time of many innovations at PSI. We are investigating how best to assist our members and colleagues so they can become PSI Chapters and affiliates. We are beginning an initiative, requested by our dear friend and President’s Advisory Committee member George Parnham, JD, to train law enforcement and lawyers in perinatal mood disorders as well as to instruct expert witnesses about testifying when needed. We are building up our cultural competence with a new active Board Committee which is looking at ways to better serve all moms and families. We are hoping to improve our fundraising capabilities in order to have the resources to reach ever more women and families in need.
We are developing a new group of PSI Social Media volunteers and are excited to invite you to become one of our PSI virtual volunteers. And we have a new Task Force and Postpartum Psychosis Coordinator to better assist women and families struggling with this diagnosis. Read our Newsletter article this month, “PSI and Postpartum Psychosis” to learn more.
These are just just a few of the new projects coming down the path, we’re excited to share more throughout the year. Please stay tuned for more initiatives starting soon which I will discuss in our next newsletter.
Of course we couldn’t do any of these things without you, our wonderful volunteers and members. Please continue in your good work and interest in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Let us know how we can assist you as you assist others. Continue to recommend becoming a PSI member to others whenever it seems appropriate. And don’t forget to think ahead and plan to be at to our next wonderful Conference June 26-27, 2015 in Plymouth Michigan.
Ann Smith, MSN, CNM, President PSI