Letter from Ann Smith

Hello from Ann Smith, PSI President
May 14, 2017


It was a long busy winter at PSI. We are looking forward to Spring and Summer for lots of reasons, but let me talk about a few.

Our 30th annual (imagine that) conference takes place in Philadelphia this year from July 12-15th. The 12th and 13th will be our marvelous 2-day Certificate training . For anyone who has not taken it, it is truly worthwhile. The conference follows July 14 and 15, and has all kinds of innovative breakouts from Working with Culturally Diverse Families, to New Drugs in the Pipeline, to NICU Challenges, to training Expert Witnesses for trials of women accused of Postpartum Psychosis related crimes. Try to get there. You won’t be sorry. It’s in an interesting space at the University of Pennsylvania.

This summer marks the initiation of our brand new Training for Frontline Providers. Providers will be able to take the CME training in a 6-hour in-person seminar, or in a 6 module webinar series. It is targeted toward OBGYNs, Family Practice MDs, NPs, CNMs and PAs, or any professional who is most likely to see a  mom first and who are often unsure of best recommendations for treating mental health needs of pregnant and postpartum women. The curriculum is an in depth look at the different PMADs, screening tools and scoring, evidence-based treatments that work including complementary ones, and 2 modules on use of prescribing medications. We will be sharing more about this front line training soon, but it should mean exciting improvements for many areas where it is often impossible to find healthcare providers who feel confident treating perinatal mood disorders. We are going to rely on you all to help us spread the word that this training is available.

Backing up the new training will be our National Consultation Service which will enable providers to consult with an expert Perinatal psychiatrist about management of a complicated or confusing case. Details are being developed but we expect to have the service up and running by October and provide consultations five days per week. Exciting, right?

Our volunteer services committee, led by board member Liz Verney, is contacting all our volunteer coordinators. Some of you may already have had a call. The purpose of this is to find out how to make it smoother and easier for coordinators to do their jobs, and for families to get help.

Before I sign off I want to say something about the closing of Postpartum Progress (PPI). PSI is sad that many may feel confused, betrayed and even grief stricken. We get it. We get the bonds the PPI moms had. We welcome anyone from PPI who wants to continue mom-to-mom support, advocacy, and raising money for maternal mental health purposes. We are looking into new options for peer volunteer activities.  PPI alumnae are welcome at PSI’s July conference. There are special arrangements for anyone who had registered  for the PPI conference  in Denver to come to the PSI conference (contact Wendy or Lianne in our office).  Climb out of the Darkness goes on and will be a success if everyone participates. My sincere hope is that PSI members and volunteers and PPI Warrior moms will reach out to one another and build something strong and good. We are all working toward one goal.

As always thank you for all you do to improve the lives of the moms, dads and families who struggle with perinatal illness. It is much appreciated.

Ann Smith, CNM, President of PSI