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2021 CONFERENCE WRAP-UP by Chris Raines, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, PMH-C PSI Board Chair
WOW another amazing virtual conference with over 1050 in attendance from 37 different countries. One thing the Covid-19 pandemic has shown all of us is that connection with others is so important. Also, we have seen that having a virtual conference can reach many people across the world, furthering PSI’s international mission. I am grateful for our incredible keynote speakers. We tried something different this year using an interview-style of discussion which helped to answer the most frequently asked questions.
Kicking off the conference this year was Dr. Fleda Mask Jackson, PhD interviewed by Jabina G. Coleman, LSW, MSW, CLC, IBCLC discussing the “Search of Calming Waters: Stress and Resistance and Black Maternal Mental Health. It was so powerful and really helped the audience understand the struggle for black and brown birthing persons in the world today.
Following up on the theme of gaps in care, Colleen Reilly and Jennifer McKeever, from the Reilly Group, interviewed Jenn Davis, Chapters Director, Wendy Davis, our esteemed Executive Director and myself on the workings and process of PSI’s policy initiative Mind the Gap. Helping the conference attendees understand how this initiative works and why it is so important. By forming a coalition of 42 partners from across the country to focus on maternal mental health and work together to close the gaps identified in the extensive landscape analysis that was completed at the beginning of this work. Four critical goals have formed our continued work and serve to help keep our eye on the mission:
Increased access to care with trained providers
Increased benefits through private insurance companies and Medicaid
Keeping maternal mental health terminology in the bills before Congress
Maintaining an advocacy network of volunteers to support women and their families.
Visit the Mind the Gap page, and join the movement. We can all make a difference by joining in with others to keep the momentum going. Knowledge is Power and there is Power in Numbers.
On Sunday we were so fortunate to hear from postpartum psychosis (PP psychosis) survivor, Michelle Davidson Ph.D. PMHNP, CNM, PMH-C and her husband Nathan Davidson FNP and their son Hayden Davidson BS, about each of their own perspectives of Michelle’s illness. In a heart-wrenching story, we heard how Nathan knew something was wrong, but because of the waxing and waning nature of PP Psychosis it was hard to get others to understand. The poignant and often raw emotion this family shared will be a part of me and I am sure you forever. PSI is so very grateful for Michelle and her family to open up these wounds to help all of us understand the emotion and often fearful thoughts and actions that so many people suffer with PP Psychosis.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention how honored and thrilled I was to introduce Jane Honikman in the opening remarks on Saturday. PSI has established the Jane Honikman award to state chapters that have shown outstanding work and advocacy in the last year. Jane started what we now know as PSI in her living room in 1987 with a focus on peer-to-peer support and identifying resources for families struggling with being new parents. It is fitting then that the Jane Honikman award goes to PSI State Chapters, based on their grassroots growth. We will always be indebted to Jane for her continued work advocating and connecting people for which she is famous for.
Along with thanks to Jane, I also want to thank Parthenon, our conference partner, for making a virtual conference look easy. As the Board Chair this year I was able to see the interworking of what goes into making this conference seamless and the number of man-hours and dedication each member of this team exhibits. I was exhausted just watching. Right down to the details, including the virtual conference hall and the help desk with zoom. Oh, and setting such a great example of how hair needs to look on zoom.
I have gone over my word count so one last thing. I hope to see all of you in New Orleans next year, in July 2022. Make your plans now and let's have a great big group hug. Thank you all so much for your time and dedication to families in the perinatal period. It takes a village and I love this village.
If you registered for the conference, but missed any of the sessions or want to listen to a session again, Conference recordings will be available for viewing until September 30, 2021.
Our online groups are here to help you connect with other moms, talk about your experience, and learn about helpful tools and resources in a culturally sensitive and safe space with other South Asian mamas. Whether you are going through stress, adjustment to parenting, baby blues, or pregnancy or postpartum depression/anxiety, our group is here for you. For more information and to save a spot, click here.
ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS
Come as you are and join other parents in one of our many online support groups. The environment is very casual, and babies and children are welcome. You are not alone, and we are here for you.
Available groups are
Termination for Medical Reasons
Postpartum Psychosis Survivors
Queer & Trans Parents
Desi Chaat- A group for South Asian Moms (Once/Month)
Folks who are interested in supporting 2021 Climb Teams are encouraged to find a team nearby (using the interactive map): follow the team's social media handles and donate to the team! Donations will remain open through October 31. Find a Team Here
Anyone interested in Leading a 2022 Climb team aka hosting a Climb event in your area can begin the process by doing the following:
MMH CERTIFICATE TRAINING FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND CLINICAL PROFESSIONALS
Hosted by PSI and 2020 Mom
PSI and 2020 Mom present a Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for Mental Health and Clinical Professionals. This online webinar series includes eight live sessions, small group discussions, supplemental reading materials, 16 continuing education credits (where applicable), and a certificate of completion. Credits count towards PMH-C certification.
Classes are on Mondays, according to the schedule, from 10am-12noon PST; However, classes are recorded and can be watched at any time. Next class begins September 13, 2021
Deadline for registration: Wednesday, September 8, 11:55pm Pacific Time
Do you have questions about the PMH-C? PSI hosts a monthly call where we can answer your questions! The PMH-C call is the perfect time to have questions answered about qualifications, exam preparation, trainings, etc.
We are now offering the option to have a professionally printed version of your PMH-C certificate. The certificate is for those providers who have already passed the PMH-C exam, and are PMH-C Certified. Visit the store to order!
Perinatal Mental Health Certificate (PMH-C) June 2021 You can find the full list of PMH-C recipients HERE