How can it be late-August already?? Or a month past our wonderful 30th anniversary conference in Philadelphia? For those who were able to join us last month I think you will agree it was filled with inspiration and learning in a really August setting at the University of Pennsylvania. We try to do even better each year so if you have specific comments or suggestions of things you would like to see (or not see) included next year do not hesitate to contact Wendy Davis or me. For the advance planners among us, next year's conference will be  July 13 th & 14 th  in Houston with the 2-day PSI PMD Training preceding it on July 11 th & 12 th . If you missed it this year let's hope you can come to Houston in 2018.
PSI is humming along in a very lively way. We have several new part time staff that will be assisting Wendy and Lianne in the office, and also helping with many of our new initiatives. Laura Caldwell is our Director of Development, Shireen Mitchell is our Social Media guru, Carrie Banks will be coordinating coordinators, making sure chapters are running smoothly and acting as midwife for our new Peer Mentoring Program . Amanda Cadran and Birdie Meyer are responsible for the Certification Program , Amanda Kanter is our Membership Development Coordinator and Timoria McCabe Saba and Emily Jankowski Newton ran a successful first Climb Out of the Darkness . I'm telling you all this so if you hear from an unfamiliar name at PSI please know we have wonderful and experienced staff without whom PSI would not be PSI.
Each month we will try to feature a new topic. We will talk about the Climb when most Climbs are complete. Right now some are still going on which is wonderful and we will start to plan for next year soon.
I do want to mention Frontline Providers Training and the National Consultation Service because as friends and members you will be instrumental in making your communities aware of its availability.
  • Frontline Providers Training is intended to be an intensive 6-hour on line or in person training with CMEs aimed at OBGYNs, Family Practice Doctors, Internists, NPs, Nurse Midwives and all prescribing providers who are the ones who are actually seeing most moms. It should enable them to screen, diagnose and begin treatment. We are convinced, if utilized, it has the potential to completely change the treatment landscape for lots of underserved communities.
  • Backing it up, we will offer a consultation service so that one of the aforementioned providers can consult with an expert perinatal psychiatrist in complex cases. Both services should be available by October 2017 - so start talking them up. More specific information will be available soon.
Finally, I'd like to talk membership with our members. PSI would like to hear from you, our friends and members, about what changes you might wish. We will be updating our website and hope to make it more user friendly, but we need to know what you would like to see there and how you'd like to see it. Don't be shy .
  • Dan Single is our board member who will head up website redesign. He would love to hear from you at , or you can contact Wendy at or me at
  • As far as Membership benefits, perks and activities our board member Mary Parham is all over it. Please contact her at with your ideas and suggestions. We want to make PSI membership a joy not a chore.
That's it for August. Stay tuned for more from PSI next month.
Thank you for being involved and interested in PSI!
Ann Smith, President
While there were so many different highs to the recent PSI conference, one moment that I found particularly impactful came during the Friday night quilt ceremony when David D’Achille and his daughter Adriana took the stage to pay quick homage to his wife Alexis who took her own life due to postpartum depression in 2013. His talk was a poignant reminder that this condition spares no one regardless of their socioeconomic status – and seeing his daughter with him on the stage served as a beacon of hope that even when things seem at their darkest, there is light to be found down the line. David’s comments also gave clear focus to the fact that perinatal mental health is every bit a men’s issue, and the work he has done to establish the  Alexis Joy Foundation  has been an inspiration and a real legacy for his daughter and countless others.
Daniel Singley, Ph.D.
PSI Board of Directors

30th PSI Annual Conference
The 30th PSI Annual Conference brought more than 500 attendees to Philadelphia to enjoy the Perelman Conference Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The diversity of attendees always creates a unique excitement at the PSI Conference: medical and mental health providers, childbirth professionals, caregivers, policy-makers, researchers, volunteers, families, and educators -- all present to learn more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and bring current ideas and skills back to their communities. This year’s conference included a full pre-conference PSI PMD certificate training, 28 breakout workshops, five expert keynotes, a poster session, and a Friday night banquet where our 2 nd  PSI Memorial Quilt was presented. We were also very happy to host a special lunch meeting, “Professionals of Color, An Opportunity to Connect and Support Each Other.” We are grateful to all who made our conference a wonderful success – especially Parthenon Management Group, the many passionate and expert presenters, exhibitors, volunteers, and our sponsors Sage Therapeutics, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for providing valuable support to help us present our 30 th  annual conference.
Feeling Stressed or Triggered by Current Events?

We are here for you at 
Second PSI Memorial Quilt
Donna Kreutzer, moved by the loss of her daughter to postpartum suicide and her experience with the original traveling quilt, coordinated the creation of our second PSI Memorial Quilt. After Donna received the first Quilt for a Postpartum Depression Awareness Month event in Austin Texas, she told us,  

"The minute I opened the box and pulled back the packing I was totally overwhelmed with a plethora of emotions…. My only child was unable to survive the severe postpartum depression/borderline psychosis she greatly suffered with for over 5 months, and unfortunately, she ended her life on October 1, 2010. While initially feelings of loss, sadness, and heartache flooded over, my heart quickly became filled with the love and peace and beauty that was woven with each and every stitch signifying the honor and memory given to these beautiful women who were so tortured with this horrific mental health issue.”
Reading about the women and families behind the embroidered names is difficult. They are our sisters, daughters, mothers, friends. For many of us, we know they could be us, but for whatever helped us survive. We have hope that fewer women in the future will become those women on the quilt, thanks to the efforts of PSI, its fellow organizations, and all those who have devoted so much of their time to make certain we know we are not alone. We want surviving families and friends to know that they are not alone. It is in honor of the losses due to perinatal mood disorders that we work to increase awareness, reduce shame, and support informed and reliable care pathways for all childbearing families.
Climb Out of Darkness 2017
PSI is coordinating Climb Out of Darkness, a fundraiser  for perinatal mood disorder awareness. Entrusted with this highly successful initiative after Postpartum Progress closed its doors and their assets were transferred to PSI, we are honored to continue the #CLIMB. (Read more about that  here .) #CLIMB symbolizes mothers, families and friends across the globe joining together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. 
2017 Award Winners: Congratulations and THANK YOU!
2 017 Hickman Research Award Winner Moshe Winograd. “Understanding the Predictors
of Posttraumatic Growth
Among Those with a History of
a Reproductive Trauma”

Sonia Murdock from the Postpartum Resource Center of New York received the 2017 Ilyene Barsky Memorial Award from Diana Lynn Barnes .
I always feel like the wide-eyed “new kid” no matter how many of the PSI conferences I go to. As a board member of PSI and yet a non-health practitioner/non-survivor, I am a Saturn-sized sponge ready to learn all the things I don’t know and then spend a year processing it. Clearly, I cannot “learn all the things I don’t know,” but as a sponge of large capacity, I can try.

This year, the more than 400 attendees gathered on the campus of U. Penn, a gorgeous mostly-self-contained campus in the middle of one of the most historic and lovely cities on the east coast. The halls of learning had a hallowed feel to them and added an extra dose of gravitas to our proceedings.

Being a bit of a music geek, I have a running playlist in my head and songs pop up in different contexts and provide a musical backdrop (if only audible to me) for various events in my life. As I drove down from New York to Philly, the song “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John found its way into my consciousness. Aside from the superficial link between song and city, the lyrics have literally no bearing on the PSI conference and what it undertakes to accomplish.

The title, though…. I kept coming back to that. Freedom. Freedom is what we sought to achieve in Philadelphia, as we did last year in San Diego and will next year in Houston and have for all 30 PSI conferences. Freedom for moms and families everywhere from: the impossible demands that perinatal mood disorders make on them, the stigma they deal with, the loneliness or hopelessness they feel, and the toll taken on them.

When I was in Philadelphia, meeting impassioned practitioners, researchers, volunteers, family members, and supporters dedicated to making a difference in the lives of sufferers everywhere, I kept hearing that refrain in my head, “Philadelphia freedom—I love, love, love you. Yes I do.” 

Vanessa Park, PSI Board Member
PSI Chapters: Coming to a State Near You!
PSI’s State Chapters Program is thriving with 14 active chapters and more on the way! The most recent additions were added in July: Colorado and South Dakota. The State Chapters Program allows PSI advocates and volunteers to further PSI’s mission, promote awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in their own home-state. Using PSI’s nonprofit status to operate and fundraise, chapters decide the goals and strategies that will work best in their state. Some chapters have chosen to focus on creating state-wide resource lists, while others have chosen to create support groups. Each chapter has the programmatic autonomy to do what’s best for their state, under PSI’s guidance.  Our goal is to have 50 state chapters (plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico) by 2020 and we need your help! Please contact us at to become involved with your state’s chapter or to help create a chapter in your state. 
August 24-25 – Marietta Georgia
Birdie Meyer, RN, MA | Chris Raines, RN MSN APRN-BC
October 2-3 – Loveland, Colorado
Wendy Davis, PhD | Ann Dunnewold, PhD | Celeste St. John-Larkin, MD
October 26-27 – Indianapolis, Indiana
Birdie Meyer, RN, MA | Sara Pollard, MSN, RN, PMHNP | Amy Ricke, MD
November 16-17 – Great Neck, New York
Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA | Robin Muskal, PhD | Lisa Testa, PhD | Ariela Frieder, MD
Online Maternal Mental Health Webinar Training
September 11 – December 18, 2017

Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for
Mental Health and Clinical Professionals
Hosted by PSI and the 2020 Mom Project