Looking to the future: Letters from PSI Board Members: Chris Raines, Liz Verney and Ann Smith

Letter from Chris Raines, RN MSN APRN-BC– PSI Board Chair

Hi everyone,

WOW, what a wonderful virtual conference we just completed. When we started talking about how to have our yearly conference this year, scheduled for New Orleans, we talked about what a daunting task going virtual might be. We reached out to our wonderful partner, Parthenon, who has been helping with our conferences over the last several years and began to explore the possibilities. They assured us we could do it with their help and the incredibly talented AV company they contracted with and look what we accomplished. To me that is the PSI spirit. Look at the issues at hand and make lemonade out of the lemons…

The PSI board has been virtual since I became a part of this wonderful family over 6 years ago. All of our board meetings were conference calls until we moved into a video platform. We actually only had two in person meetings, at the yearly conference and again at our January retreat. This is because our board is very diverse in person, but also in location. We are spread across the US and we have always had to adapt to that distance. PSI knows how to do virtual and so it has been a natural progression going online for our trainings. It has also given us the flexibility to meet the needs of our membership by increasing our on-line support groups and webinars series helping others to understand the world of video platforms.

It is in this spirit of adaptability and collaboration that I begin my tenue as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. My visions for PSI are grand, and are in line with the mission of PSI and the incredible board of directors I have the pleasure of being a part of. Meeting the needs of mothers, fathers, and families struggling with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) with peer to peer support, advocacy, connection, and providing evidence-based training for all will always be at the heart of PSI. Expanding our reach and touching families that are struggling and are unaware of PMAD is where we must go in the future. In order to do that we must make a strong commitment to our partners and our members that our infrastructure will handle the expansion of our services. Our funding stream must be solid, enabling us to continue to offer our programs and be an integral part of the ongoing discussions around parity and insurance coverage for all families who encounter PMAD’s. We will continue to be the trusted voice in Washington regarding the mental health of women, children and families with our Mind the Gap imitative and work with our partners to ensure this population is not forgotten. 

I look forward to working with all of you to further our reach and to make sure that every mother, child and family have the support and treatment that is needed. Join me today by telling a friend or neighbor about PSI and encourage them to join our team.

Thank you and take good care,

Chris Raines, PSI Board Chair, RN MSN APRN-BC

Letter from  Liz Verney – PSI Vice Chair

Though neither a survivor or a clinician, I have had first hand experience with Postpartum Depression. I am a mother of two, grandmother of one and care very much about women’s reproductive health. I  had a career in publishing in New York and am now an artist. I got involved initially with Postpartum Support when Ann Smith , with her grace and wisdom, helped us get through a crisis. I am in my second term as a board member and honored to be the new Vice Chair. My main goal is to support Chris Raines, our new Chairperson, and to focus on Marketing, Communications, Development, Outreach and our amazing Volunteers.

I hope to help simplify our website and expedite help for Moms and families. No one should ever have to wait too long, get lost in the process, give up or fall through the cracks when reaching out for help. I know that days can feel like months when in a crisis.   With the launch of the Mind the Gap report we have put PSI in the forefront of Perinatal Mental Health and we will work hard to stay there increasing our exposure.

Thank you,

Liz Verney, PSI Vice Chair


Letter from Ann Smith, CNM, MSN  – Outgoing Board Chair and PSI Board Member

Greetings to the PSI Family

I think most of us are still basking in the incredible 34th annual PSI Conference on July 8 th -12 th ,2020 which, this year, came virtually right into our homes. Although everyone missed the camaraderie of seeing each other, we must have done something right because there were almost 1200 registrants from all over the world , the most ever by many hundred . Thank you to the PSI and Parthenon Staff who worked so hard to make it a success.
The conference marked a bittersweet time for me personally . After six years as Board Chair and President of PSI I am stepping down, and Chris Raines will step into my spot. She will be a committed and capable leader. It has been an enormous honor to lead this amazing organization. I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished in terms of growth in size and scope. The board and I had big dreams on what was possible and we reached almost all of them. 40 state chapters, 606 individuals with PMH-C certification, 16 full and part-time staff, virtual support groups every day, peer mentoring, an online directory of trained providers, consultation service, and last but never least, nearly 300 tireless support coordinators. None of this would have been possible without the assistance of Wendy Davis,Executive Director,  and the wise counsel and teamwork of a talented, diverse and committed board .
I appreciate the support of each and everyone who is a part of PSI
Ann Smith, CNM, MSN