Perinatal Mental Health Alliance Provider November Blog
Meet Divya Kumar a South Asian-American perinatal psychotherapist with a public
health background who lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with her husband and two teenage children. She received a Master of Social Work and certificate in Trauma Practice from Simmons University and a Master of Science from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She also holds a certification in Perinatal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International.
Divya is a co-founder of the Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color, serves on the Board of PSI of Massachusetts, and the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression in Massachusetts. She also writes about the intersections of race, trauma, and perinatal mental health.
Divya is especially passionate about breaking the silence and stigma around mental health challenges in APIDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi-American) communities; therefore, she loves working with APIDA clients and is one of the co-facilitators of Desi Chaat, PSI’s support group for South Asian moms.
Divya shares, “as a therapist, most of my clients are folx who identify as first-generation or children of immigrants who are seeking support around the transition to parenthood. Many folx who are first generation often feel like they are bush-whacking and don’t quite belong in a specific “box” and are creating their own paths during the transition to parenthood; many feel like they don’t have models of how they want to parent and can benefit from a supportive, culturally responsive space to create their own narratives about their upbringing, identities, and their own parenting journeys.”
Many of Divya’s clients use the therapeutic space to unpack and process interpersonal, relational, racial, and intergenerational trauma that may surface in the perinatal period or parenting. In this space they explore and process questions such as, what does it mean to be a “good parent”? What does it mean to demonstrate love? How do I understand and talk about feelings? What type of struggle and sacrifice is normal for parents? And, what does it mean to take care of myself?
Similar to her clients, Divya’s self-care practice is an evolving one that she continues to build by unlearning old patterns of ignoring her body’s signals and “powering through” fatigue. She is cultivating a practice of self-compassion and relies on singing, making music, going to the beach, and going outside in green spaces in her neighborhood.
Divya, we thank you for all of the work you are doing in the perinatal field. If you would like to learn more about Divya please visit her website, check out her interview on the Mom & Mind podcast , her writing on race, parenting, and perinatal mental health, or on Instagram at @bothbrownandtherapist.
Meet Chris Rose, one of our Dad Support group leaders who has been serving help seekers since November 2021.
Chris shares, “This group is a safe place. It gives the dads an ear to be heard which I think is very important. We as dads are told that we shouldn’t voice our issues and that we need to be the rock of the family. That’s old thinking. I feel like our group helps dads realize that they are not alone in facing PPD and that it’s ok to open up and talk about their mental health. Parenting is already hard and staying quiet just makes the job harder.”
Our dads group meets every Friday at various times and Chris highlights, “we are here to listen and validate your feelings and the dads in our group do such an amazing job supporting each other during this difficult journey.”
If you’re a dad looking for support, understanding and community please attend our support group by registering here.
Chris, we thank you for the work you do for our help seekers, Alliance community, and within PSI. If you want to connect you can connect with him at the following:
Facebook: Christopher Rose-Banks