Presidential Message: July 2012
Hello from PSI President Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg RNC, MS
As I write my first Presidential message, our country is plagued with some pretty wild weather. We’ve had hurricane-force winds leaving many fallen trees, snapped power lines and battered and mangled homes and businesses; many have been left without power for hours and many people still have no power. There are people who have lost their homes due to devastating fires in the West. We are having record heat in many states that has residents exhausted and everyone hoping for relief from this ‘nightmare’ soon. There are many stories of good Samaritans willing to help out neighbors and strangers during these difficult times and that’s the silver lining that is being remembered.
It got me thinking of the many women with Perinatal Mood Disorders that have described hurricane-force moods that they are experiencing, leaving them feeling emotionally battered and mangled, powerlessness, and feeling extreme exhaustion and feeling that they are living in an unexpected and never ending emotional nightmare. Like the hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered in the weather storms recently, the women who are suffering with Perinatal Mood Disorders are waiting, hoping and praying for relief from their emotional storms.
The vision of PSI is that every woman and family worldwide will have access to information, social support and informed professional care to deal with mental health issues related to childbearing. We promote this vision through advocacy and collaboration and by education and training the professional community and the public. We have more than 175 Coordinators around the world to provide support, encouragement and information about PMD and these wonderful, energetic coordinators help thousands of people connect to professionals in their community to get help. They inspire me and fill me with hope that we will continue to help more and more women with PMD; and as well provide support, information and resources to Dads and partners, family members all over the world.
Thank you to all who made our Las Vegas Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders Training & Reproductive Psychiatry Seminar in June a huge success. The feedback from the attendees has been so positive; ‘people were inspired and energized, and many participants want to volunteer’; we had a line of people who wanted to join PSI and others said that they were eager to initiate change in their states so that we can educate more people about PMD and assist more women in getting the specialized help they need for treatment.
I read somewhere what the definition of excellence is:
Caring more than others think is wise
Risking more than others think is safe
Dreaming more than others think is practical
Expecting more than others think is possible.
As I read this, I reflected on the many people that I have met through the years as I have belonged to PSI. There have been many professionals as well as the many women who have gone through a PMD, and have recovered and want to help others. When I think of the many volunteers and our hardworking office staff who give enormous amounts of time dedicated to helping women and their families connect with professionals who can help treat PMD, volunteers who give of their precious time to be on the Board of Directors and on the President’s Advisory Board, and volunteer to be Coordinators of their state or country, I think of the word excellence. I am so proud to be associated with an organization like PSI.
We continue to have much work to do as we forge ahead through the unexpected storms: storms can be due to the weather as we have experienced and they can be emotional storms that cause much pain and suffering. What we can expect from PSI is that we will be there for women and their families who suffer as they experience the mighty and powerful and yet treatable PMD.
Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS
Passing the Torch of PSI Presidency
Goodbye Letter from PSI President Lucy Puryear, MD
In many ways it has been a long two years and in other ways it has gone by so quickly. As I say goodbye as the president of Postpartum Support International I am proud of the many things your board has accomplished and I hope that I have made a lasting mark. I believe that PSI, since the day it was founded by Jane Honikman, has made steady and significant progress in the lives of women and their families who suffer from postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Each president brings her (or one day his!) unique perspective to the job and each of us moves the ball down the field a little farther. One day every woman will have the support, care, and information she needs, no matter where she lives.
Please join me in welcoming our new president Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg RNC, MS, who comes from the field of nursing and has vast experience in running a women’s mental health service at St. Alexius Medical Center in Illinois. I can’t wait to see what she will accomplish in her two year tenure.
Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and kind words. See you at the 26th Annual PSI Conference in Minnesota!
Hello From PSI President Lucy Puryear, MD
October 28, 2011
Greetings from hot and dry Houston. What fun it was to be in cool and unusually sunny Seattle this September for our fabulous PSI conference. If you missed it you missed a wonderful time of fabulous speakers, great food, and wonderful camaraderie.
PSI Washington hit it out of the park and were terrific hosts. Thank you. And did I mention the belly dancing? Ask someone who was there how much fun that was!
PSI continues to be at the forefront of the fight for recognition and treatment for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We are represented in the media and in the courtroom providing compassionate and intelligent information about the latest tragedy and spreading the word about the help that is available. Thank you for all you do to help provide that help.
The board is working on our next annual meeting in Minnesota in June of 2013, planning with our co-sponsor, NAMI Minnesota. In the interim the Marce Society is anxious to host our members in Paris in October of 2012. Please consider joining me and others as we talk about the role of social support in perinatal mental health. I know there are Marce members willing to help with housing so it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Paris.
I will be hosting the annual board retreat in Houston over MLK weekend. I can't wait to show everyone the real Houston; no cowboys hats! Please send me an email if there's something you'd like us to know or think about.
Blessings to all and thank you for all that you do.
Lucy Puryear, MD
Welcome message from new PSI President Lucy Puryear, MD
October 9, 2010
As I embark on the beginning of my presidential journey I would like to share a few of my reflections. First, what an amazing organization Postpartum Support International is. It’s hard to imagine that PSI is run by volunteers; dedicated and caring individuals who give so much of themselves and their time to accomplish all of the important things we do. I know I am working full time, raising four kids, and trying to give my best to PSI and I know all of our other volunteers are facing the same challenges. But what unites us is the common passion we all share to care for women and their families who suffer from postpartum illnesses. This is our most important task; to offer support, resources, and hope for women and their families.
Second, I can see we have more to do. Women are still suffering and some are losing their lives due to these awful illnesses. You and I know that pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders are treatable and we must continue to get the message out to everyone who will listen and to those who don’t know they need to listen. As a physician I know there are many doctors who have never heard of PSI. They email me asking where they can refer their patients for competent care. I always refer them to our website. We are the largest resource to find health care providers in your community who understand postpartum illness. We need to shout the name PSI from the rooftops.
Finally, I am so looking forward to my first PSI conference as president. It is always so exciting to be with a group of people who share the same commitment to women’s mental health care that I do. We speak the same language and I feel an immediate kinship. Please come up and introduce yourself to me so I can say thank you in person for all you do. I am so proud to be a part this wonderful group of people.
Go forth and conquer,
(I don’t know where I picked up that salutation, but it seems appropriate here!)
Farewell message from 2008-10 PSI President, Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, CLC:
June 1, 2010
Passing the Torch
Dear PSI Members and Supporters,
The time has come for me to write my last president’s message. For the past two years, I have been honored and privileged to serve as your president. It has been an exciting and historic time for PSI. We have continued to grow and accomplish so much!!
It’s difficult to keep up with all the accomplishments and awards of our members, PSI board, President’s Advisory Council, and Coordinators. You all do so much to help women and their families. I love to see the shocked look on people’s faces when I tell them that all but 2 people in PSI serve as VOLUNTEERS. What a passionate, caring group of people.
I couldn’t have served as president without all of you. I couldn’t start to thank everyone for everything I’d like. My overall HUGE THANK YOU to all of the PSI Board Members who served with me over the past 2 years, the PSI Coordinators, and the President’s Advisory Council led by Susan Dowd Stone. Many thanks to Devani Priest, office administrator, for keeping the organization running from the home office in Santa Barbara. Thanks to Wendy Davis, program director --your constant support and hard work made my term much easier. Jane Honikman, founder---for recruiting me for everything and getting me involved in the best organization and cause.
I could certainly go on and on for so many individuals who have touched my life and crossed my path. I will continue to stay involved and busy with PSI. I hope to see all of you in Pittsburgh at the combined Marce/PSI Conference. I always look forward to re-connecting and seeing my PSI family.
You can read all about PSI’s recent accomplishments and announcements in the PSI June Newsletter. So many things to report. We have beautiful new website, our own DVD, the passing of The MOTHERS Act, many new affiliations and connections, national and international trainings, donations and grants, and another Wade Bowen Fundraiser.
I am pleased to pass the torch to our next president, Lucy Puryear, MD. I am so confident in her abilities, gifts, and talents to lead PSI into the next growth period. Welcome Lucy!! We’ll all be there for you. Lucy Puryear is a psychiatrist in private practice specializing in women’s reproductive mental health and a clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She has made numerous appearances in the national media speaking about women’s mental health issues. She has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Prime Time Live. She is the author of ”Understanding Your Emotions When You’re Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health, and Happiness–Before, During, and After Pregnancy”. Lucy received her BS in Nursing from Baylor University and her MD from Baylor College of Medicine.
So, it’s “Bye, Bye, Birdie” and the start of the next chapter—“I Love Lucy.”
Thanks for all you do and will continue to do for women and their families.
My Cup Runneth Over,
December 18, 2009
Warm Winter Wishes
Dear PSI Members, Families, and Friends,
I wanted to send a note to say a Happy Holiday Season to all and soon to be a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
We have already sent out a year end letter, highlighting our accomplishments for 2009 and all that we have to be thankful. Any member may use the year end letter to send to friends and relatives asking for a donation to PSI. I did this last year and PSI was the recipient of donations or memberships from 10 of my friends and family. As one of my family members said, “I like to give to something that I know is important and has a connection to someone I know”.
Our newsletter will be out this coming week and is filled with many exciting news items. We have developed our new website, we have our very own DVD, and we have so many accomplishments of our own members that are noteworthy every day.
Thank You for all you do in the lives of women and their families every day.
Whatever your traditions, Enjoy Family and Friends in this Holiday Season!!!!
October 8, 2009
Dear PSI Members and Friends,
There's a chill in the air as we welcome the fall---leaves changing colors and getting ready to fall, temperatures cooling off, thinking of drinking apple cider, kids back in school, new schedules. Even Arizona's temperatures are falling below 100 again.
What a phenomenal annual conference we had in LA in August!! Thanks again to co-chairs, Kimberly Wong and Merrill Sparago, for a hugely successful conference. I so enjoyed seeing all of you there - old friends and new friends. I missed those of you who couldn't attend this year and look forward to seeing you at future conferences.
We enjoyed great speakers and new information, a beautiful hotel and banquet, hearing Country Music Artist Wade Bowen in person, great food, and having sunshine every day! Thanks to all involved. There were so many of you who helped make this a wonderful conference and I appreciate each and every one of you.
We had 38 PSI coordinators from around the world attend this year's conference. Our volunteer coordinators are definitely the lifeblood of PSI. The passion and commitment of all the coordinators constantly amazes me. Thanks for all the work you do for women and their families every day.
At the conference we unveiled PSI's new educational DVD - "Healthy Mom, Happy Family". We are so proud of this new educational tool that will soon be available for purchase and will be a great resource for hospitals, organizations, groups, and facilities. It is intended for use in Childbirth Education classes, teaching before discharge in the hospital, in Healthcare Provider offices, and many other ways. It is the first DVD released from PSI and was made possible from a donation from Wade Bowen's fundraiser for PSI. We will send out an announcement and add "trailers" to PSI's website when it is available. Please help us get the word out about this new educational tool. Thanks to District of Columbia Coordinator Lynn McIntyre for her gift of filming a portion of the DVD as a donation to PSI. Thanks to all involved in the DVD for telling their stories. It will continue to help generations to come.
Wendy Davis, PhD, has been named PSI's first Program Director. We had some great applicants in our national search, and hired Wendy in August. This is a newly formed part-time position with PSI and is our second paid staff position in addition to our Office Administrator position, which is held by the wonderful Devani Priest in Santa Barbara. After 22 years of existence as a vital volunteer organization, our ability to create a paid director's position was been made possible by income from our standardized national trainings and by many generous individual donations. Wendy has been in a volunteer position with PSI since 1997, first as an Oregon Coordinator, and then in the role of Coordinating all of the state and country volunteers. She has a counseling practice in Portland, Oregon, and is the Founding Director and Clinical Advisor for the Baby Blues Connection mom-to-mom support organization. She has been coordinating and developing PSI programs as a volunteer and board member for many years and we are so happy that she will continue to lead PSI in this role.
The new President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Gerald F. Joseph Jr, MD, has announced that he has made Postpartum Depression a priority this year. Our PSI Louisiana Coordinator, Misty Wainwright, has already made a PSI connection with Dr. Joseph. ACOG's annual conference is in May and PSI will be involved.
Our Santa Barbara members are busy planning the Annual Mystery Reader's Luncheon as a fundraiser for PSI. It will be held in Santa Barbara on Saturday January 16 at the beautiful Hotel Mar Monte and will feature author Sue Grafton. We are seeking donations for the silent auction in conjunction with this fundraiser. Please email the PSI office or call 1-805-967-7636 to make a donation for the silent auction. PSI's annual Board Retreat will be held that same weekend in Santa Barbara and we are looking forward to seeing other PSI members at the Luncheon.
Wade Bowen has announced that he will once again have a fundraiser for PSI with his Wade Bowen Annual Concert and Celebrity Golf Tournament on May 2nd and 3rd, 2010. There will be more information in the future regarding this. I will be attending this wonderful event again with Lucy Puryear, our PSI President-Elect. Lucy will be attending "Texan-style" wearing her cowgirl boots. Come join us there!
Continue to spread the word about our weekly "PSI Chat with the Experts." Every Monday and Wednesday, we offer free open phone sessions, providing a free forum for information, support, and contact. Wednesdays are for moms and supporters, and Mondays are for Dads. Visit the link above for more information.
PSI's educational offerings continue around the country. Our 2-day Certificate of Completion program, Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care, is presently scheduled for: February in Florida; March in Kentucky; and April in Montana and Indiana. Stay in touch with these offerings under the Events section on the website. Please contact Pec Indman if you would like more information about bringing this highly regarding training course to your area.
Mark your calendars now for the next year's 24th Annual PSI Conference in Pittsburgh on October 27-30, 2010. We are "piggy-backing" on to the Marce Society annual conference. This is the first time in 10 years that the Marce Society has had a conference in the US. This year's President, Katherine Wisner, MD and a committee from PSI will be planning a joint venture. We knew that many PSI members would want to attend Marce and PSI in 2010, so we're excited to collaborate and plan a combined conference. Our founder, Jane Honikman, has been a long-time member of Marce and has forged this alliance for years between PSI and Marce.
We are continually fortunate to have our members honored with awards locally, regionally, and nationally for their efforts in the promotion and work in the field of PMD. We are also grateful to our members and friends for continued financial support for the work we do.
Enjoy the fall, sip a cup of apple cider, and know that you are all doing tremendous work for women and their families.
Thanks for all you do,
President, Postpartum Support International
February 25, 2009
Spring is in the Air…
It still feels like winter to many of us, but I can see the beginning signs of spring. In the Midwest, and other places, the annual spring flowers just peek up through the ground at this time of year. When I see the emerging plants, I feel hopeful for spring. It makes me smile when I first see them. The daylight hours are also stretching and that makes me feel more productive. The spring season brings hope, and new life, and regeneration. A book that I read last year talks about spring from the standpoint of a farmer. The author talks about the phrase, “Come Next Spring”, as a hopeful phrase. Even if the crops were bad, or something didn’t go right over the fall and winter, we can look forward to a new start in the spring.
We will continue to partner with others around the world to further our goals of serving women and their families. Our volunteer coordinators around the world are amazing people who have consistently offered help to childbearing women and their families. Our coordinators and volunteers are survivors, family members of survivors, professionals, and community workers….all with the same goal of offering hope.
We have added a new Monday Chat with the Experts session for Men:
On Monday, February 23rd, Postpartum Support International added a weekly informational phone forum for Dads. There is no need to register, the sessions are live and free, and the facilitators are licensed, mental-health professionals. This is a place where dads, partners, extended family members or other support people, and professionals can find some answers and support from an expert - and from other men. Dads will find honest and compassionate talk about the adjustment to parenthood, information about how fatherhood can affect you, and some helpful advice. Participation can be anonymous.
See this link for details. www.postpartum.net/info-sessions
MONDAY CHATS FOR MEN
“What can I do to support my partner?”
“Is it possible that I’m depressed too?”
“Am I the only guy who’s struggling with becoming a dad?”
We continue to have our weekly Chat with the Experts sessions for women. The calls are facilitated by PSI members. Please refer to the website for further information about times, dates, and facilitators.
PSI Trainings around the country continue to be successful. Find more information in our events section on the home page.
- Indianapolis, IN - March 12 and 13
- Detroit, Michigan - March 26 and 27
- Gilbert, Arizona - April 16 and 17
- Cupertino, CA- April 25 and 26
- Washington, DC - May 7 and 8
- Oklahoma - May 20 and 21
- Los Angeles, CA - August 4 and 5, as pre-conference at the annual PSI conference.
Please contact Pec Indman at firstname.lastname@example.org, PSI Education and Training Chair, if you’re interested in hosting a training near you.
Our PSI website will soon have a new look. More details to follow.
Our PSI Board of Directors is in need of a Development/Fundraising Chair: We are looking for candidates to fill the position of Development/Fundraising Chair on its board of directors. The Postpartum Support International (PSI) Development/Fundraising Chairperson chairs the committee whose responsibility is to actively seek funding sources for PSI programs and operations through private donations, grant opportunities, fundraising events, and corporate or foundation sponsorship of PSI projects. The Chair will have the help of other PSI members and board committee chairs as they work on fundraising and outreach. If you are interested in this position and have demonstrable fundraising or non-profit development experience, please email Katharine Stone at email@example.com or Wendy Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
As reported previously, the Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother’s Act was reintroduced on Monday, January 26th by US Senator Menendez. Many supporters of this bill continue to work hard and hopefully on this.
I look forward to see many of you in August at the PSI Annual Conference held this year in Los Angeles. Make plans now for a great conference.
As always, thanks for all you do. Remember that you make a difference every day in the lives of women and their families.
Enjoy the coming signs of spring and hopefulness,
Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, CLC
Postpartum Support International