PSI Donor and Supporter Josh Cohen
Note: There are many types of perinatal mental health disorders, and at times a range of unexpected consequences. This interview makes note of a tragic outcome that was a consequence of one woman’s illness. Please reach out to us if you need support or have any questions about perinatal mental health at 800-944-4773. One of our trained volunteers will call you back within hours.
I grew up in Baltimore but have lived in Chicago for over twenty years now. I’m happily married to my wife Marci, and have three children ages 14,11 and 7 (two girls and a boy). I work in the financial services industry, working with clients who offer retirement plans to their employees.
In 2007, three months after the birth of our second daughter, my first wife, Robyn, took her life after suffering through a severe bout of postpartum psychosis. It was obviously a devastating event for our family and we are so sorry for what Robyn suffered through. Reflecting on the experience, while many different medical professionals and care providers tried to help her, my observation was that many of them didn’t appreciate the unique issues and needs for women who suffer from this disease. I also felt there wasn’t sufficient collaboration and communication between her various providers, which is an issue with our medical system overall.
After Robyn’s death, I learned more about PSI and the excellent work they do. I wanted to make a donation to the organization and asked about some of their initiatives. When I learned about their long-standing desire to start a certification program, this seemed to align very well with the needs I had personally observed. I’m glad that my donation helped get the certification program off the ground and am grateful to all those who put in the hard work needed to make it happen. I’m hopeful this program will strengthen the PSI organization. I am also glad that there is a scholarship program in Robyn’s memory as financial considerations shouldn’t be an impediment to care providers getting the important training and certification in this area.
While we certainly miss Robyn greatly, I am happy to report that our family is doing great. The girls are thriving. My new wife has adopted them and they love their 7 year old brother. Their brother has some developmental delays, and Robyn, as a speech language therapist, worked with many children with a similar profile. We also made a donation, in Robyn’s honor, to the developmental preschool that he went to, to support a scholarship fund for those who have trouble affording to go.
Keep doing the great work that you are doing and thanks for all your efforts.
This is part of a series featuring members of PSI. If you know of a PSI member you think we should feature, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.