“I am a mother who has been in the dark depths of postpartum depression and I understood the importance of finding help that culturally resonated with me as a black woman. I am grateful I had the knowledge and access to the care I needed during that time, and hope to provide the same care for other BIPOC and marginalized mothers,” reflects Jaclyn Satchel.
Jaclyn is a licensed clinical social worker with over 15 years of experience in the field. The work she does in her private practice focuses on perinatal mental health for marginalized populations. While one of her most recent accomplishments was being appointed to the Postpartum Support International (PSI) Best Practice for Perinatal Mental Health Equity Committee. This committee serves to broaden the participation in the preparation, implementation, and dissemination of research studies seeking to improve perinatal mental health equity.
Additionally, Jaclyn is the Executive Director of Therapists in Tech. Therapists in Tech was founded in 2020 and is a community that fosters inclusive, authentic connections, amplifies marginalized voices, and supports mental health professionals in tech roles to promote their clinical values, mental health, and ability to advocate for patient-consumers. In 2022 they gained 501(c)(3) status to further their mission of providing professional community support to mental health professionals working in the digital health tech industry through networking, mentorship, and education.
Aside from being a wife, mother, executive director, LCSW, and committee member, it is important for Jaclyn to take care of herself. As long as it involves nature and the activity is not camping you can count Jaclyn in. She loves to reset by sitting outdoors and riding her bike in her neighborhood.
If you are interested in learning more about Jaclyn and her work connect with her on LinkedIn as it is her go-to networking platform.
**Trigger warning: This article contains information about suicidal ideation**
“I discovered my passion for perinatal mental health because it connected me with my own pregnancy and postpartum experience. I suffered in silence and felt drawn to work in this field to help parents find help and support during such a vulnerable time,” shares Lilian a PSI Helpline Volunteer.
Lilian was interested in volunteering with PSI after being introduced to the organization while completing research on maternal mental health during her social work program. However, between managing a career transition, juggling two small children, and school Lilian had to place her desire to volunteer on hold.
PSI HelpLine volunteers are a part of the first line of support a parent can connect with when they reach out for help. These volunteers provide basic information, resources regarding perinatal mental health, and support. In 2019 Lilian started volunteering with the Helpline and noticed one of the greatest challenges she sees from help-seekers is the lack of information and education they have about what to expect during the perinatal period.
Lilian shares, “One of the main things we do on the helpline is validating help seeker’s feelings by normalizing their experiences. These are simple yet powerful ways to make people feel seen and heard, and this paves the way for them to feel okay about seeking treatment. It helps because we tell them what they are going through is not their fault.”
The PSI Helpline is not a crisis hotline and does not handle crisis calls; however, Lilian recalls assisting a help seeker during one of her shifts. “During the pandemic, I lived in Germany and did overnight shifts. One night a mom was in a dark place and shared she was experiencing active suicidal ideation. I remained on the line to validate her feelings and talked about different things in her life she thought were worth living for, until she was connected to the crisis hotline” recalls Lilian.
The following day the help seeker texted the PSI Helpline back and shared how grateful she was for Lilian as she helped her choose life over death in her darkest hour. “These cases are fairly rare on the helpline, but I was so grateful to be there at just the right moment to help someone in need” shares Lilian.
Lilian’s selfless volunteerism extends beyond the PSI Helpline as she has assisted as a PSI group facilitator, her local Climb, and the PSI Maryland chapter. Also, Lilian’s work as a PSI volunteer led her to her professional calling as a perinatal mental health therapist in private practice. Along with working with perinatal clients Lilian’s clientele includes immigrant and foreign families and those with women’s issues across the lifespan.
Outside of Lilian’s extensive amount of volunteer work and professional life, she enjoys living in the DMV area with her husband, two amazing daughters, and two bunnies. To assist with her stress levels she goes for walks outside as nature’s beauty fuels and gives her energy. Lilian also does breathing exercises, guided meditation, and mindful practices that bring awareness to her body in order to relieve tension regularly.
Lilian, we are grateful for the countless hours and selfless work you do as a volunteer. If you would like to connect with Lilian you can email her at email@example.com. If you are interested in using your talents to volunteer with PSI you can learn more about volunteer opportunities here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.