December 23, 2013

Dear Friends, 
Wishing you warm and peaceful Season's Greetings! 

President's Corner
The holiday season is upon us now. We are busy shopping, baking and meeting our friends and family for lunches and dinners to celebrate this season. For those who are experiencing anxiety, depression and distress these are not necessarily the best of times. For new moms who have a small baby to care for and ‘don’t feel like themselves’ or for pregnant women who are not feeling mentally or physically well, these are not joyous times. The end of each year brings many women to tears as they realize that they haven’t done what they had planned to do during this particular year. Maybe they have been wondering: What is the matter with me? Why don’t I want to be involved with holiday planning like I used to be? Why do I worry so much about everything? Will I ever feel like I did before? Is this the new me? What could be causing this pain and distress?

To these moms and moms-to-be I say: You are not alone. You are not to blame. You will be well.

At PSI we have dedicated volunteers and coordinators throughout the United States and Internationally who can help new moms and moms-to-be who are experiencing emotional distress during pregnancy, post-loss, or postpartum. Our volunteers offer emotional support, encouragement and guidance that is needed to help you. They can provide telephone or email support, connect you to a support group, and help you find expert professionals who can treat you and help you feel better. PSI volunteers and coordinators will walk with you in your journey to wellness.  You can find your local volunteers on our Support Map. Right from the first phone call to our wonderful PSI office or warmline, a voice of kindness and understanding will welcome you and reassure you that there is help for you and affirm that you are truly not alone in this fight for wellness.

The end of the year for me makes me realize that there is no shortage of people for which to be thankful. PSI has been a beacon of light for women and their families who suffer from perinatal mood disorders and distress for so many years. Jane Honikman, our Founder, has been helping pregnant and postpartum women and their families find support, connection, and resources since she founded PSI in 1987 in Santa Barbara, California. Our volunteers, coordinators, Board members, President's Advisory Council members, office staff and our Executive Director continue with Jane’s vision to link women and their families to community support services. We continue to be passionate about helping all who suffer with a perinatal mood disorder receive the kind of help that Jane envisioned twenty-six years ago.

Maybe some of you remember a commercial that aired many years ago. It was an ad for Motel 6. It always ended with the phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for you”. It was to welcome weary travelers and reassure them that they would be able to take refuge at Motel 6. It promised them that they could be refreshed and renewed before they continued on their journey. It brings a smile to my face as I remember that mellow, kind voice of Tom Bodett as the spokesman who said those words. Just for the record, Motel 6 started in Santa Barbara in 1962!  

As I end this letter to you all, I want to say to you – “We’ll leave the light on (of hopefulness, encouragement and kindness) just for you”.

Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS, PSI President
Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg, RNC, MS


PSI and Public Relations: Speaking with One Voice

When incidents related to perinatal mental health come to media attention, we experience both a need to raise public awareness and the desire to prevent sensationalism and invasion of privacy. Members of PSI are often contacted by the media to provide quotes about perinatal mental health. In these instances it is important that the organization speak with a united voice, while also lending our individual expertise. Here are a few media tips:

  • First, be sure to coordinate with Maria Carola, our Public Relations and Marketing Chair, in advance before speaking to the media on behalf of PSI. You can contact Maria at
  • Second, find ways to work PSI key messages into your responses. For example, you might say, “One of the things that PSI tries to help parents understand is that ‘You are not alone.'  In fact, at least one in eight women suffers from Postpartum Depression.” Or if asked if this tragedy was avoidable, you might say, “Each situation is unique, but one of the messages of the PSI organization is ‘You are not to blame.’ We share this concept with those who are experiencing any perinatal mood disorder, and also with their families.” 
  • Third, always refer back to the PSI website and phone number. Make it a point to get this message in early in the interview. You might say, “Postpartum Support International has a wealth of resources to assist families who are struggling with postpartum mental health. Visit, or call 1-800-944-4PPD.” 

A powerful way to complete the interview is to remind people to visit or call the warmline, and to repeat the PSI motto. We will provide additional media tips in future newsletters.

PSI NEWS Submissions
PSI NEWS is seeking informative news or feature articles from professionals, news from regions and PSI volunteers, and personal stories of recovery. Write to us at for more information or to submit your news items.

If Not For You
We are so grateful for your support. Only through the generosity of your donations are we able to sustain and improve PSI programs and services in 2014. It's easy to donate, you can visit our Network for Good link and make a tax-deductible donation. You can choose to make a single donation, make it in honor of a special person, or become a sustaining member by selecting a recurring gift. Your generosity will help us provide communities worldwide with reliable and compassionate support and information, resources, and informed professional care. From our Volunteer Scholarship Fund Donors to those who have donated in memory of a loved one, PSI is grateful and moved by your generosity.

PSI 27th Annual Conference 
with UNC Center for Women's Mood Disorders
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
June 18-21, 2014
Registration Coming Soon!
UNC Chapel Hill

Join us on Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook


PSI and The 2020 Mom Project Online Certificate Training 
Jan 13 - April 21, 2014

Easy online registration is available for this specialized training webinar. This 6-session certificate course is presented by top experts and trainers in the field of perinatal mental health. Join from the comfort of your own home or office, network with other participants, and study with faculty Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFTPec Indman, MFT, EdDTrish McGarrigle, MS, MFT; LACKate DeStefano-Torres, MA, NCC, ACS, LPCBirdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MAGabrielle Kaufman, MA, ADTR, NCCWendy N. Davis, PhD; Joy Burkhard, MBA. Registration closes Jan. 3.

More Info & Registration

PSI Fundraising Chair
Open Board Position

Do you love creating events and raising funds for a great cause, working with passionate and dedicated advocates? PSI needs you!

The PSI Fundraising Chair is a volunteer position requiring a previous track record of success in fundraising with a not-for-profit organization. The Fundraising Chair works in collaboration with other PSI Board members and committees, staff, and PSI members to coordinate and initiate fundraising projects and events throughout the year. Candidate must be willing to volunteer approximately five to ten hours per month serving in this capacity. Candidate's locale is not relevant but must be able to attend annual PSI June conference, monthly board meetings via telephone, and annual board retreat in January.

A person with a passionate interest in the field of family advocacy, women's health, psychology or education who is looking to put their fundraising skills to good use in this volunteer capacity is an ideal candidate. The PSI Board is comprised of professionals as well as non-professionals -- please don't hesitate to contact us to learn more. 

If you'd like to join the Fundraising Committee, but not as the Chairperson, we would LOVE to hear from you -- please let us know! 

Join our active board and dedicated PSI members to support the emotional needs of pregnant and postpartum families. 
To obtain more information or submit a resume and application, please contact PSI Secretary Robin Harpster.

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