Hello PSI members, we're glad to have you with us!  In this month's news, you find an invitation to share your story, a powerful article about loss and a sister's advocacy, news from the PSI Board, Info about the Universal Maternal Mental Health symbol contest, and information about our annual conference in June in Chapel Hill North Carolina.

PSI, Media and Public Relations: 

We are pleased to introduce our new Public Relations/Marketing Chair, Sharon Gerdes. She is an author, Certified Food Scientist, and a Postpartum Psychosis survivor. She has been a member of PSI since 2012.

Opportunity to share your story

Sharon has received several requests for postpartum survivor stories from magazines. She would like to compile a list of members who would like to share their stories as these opportunities arise. If you would like to be contacted for future stories, please send an email to PSIpr@postpartum.net. Include your contact information and one or two sentences about yourself. 

Submit your story by 3/12/14
The editors of Anchor Magazine have requested that PSI members submit personal stories of recovery about postpartum depression and psychosis.  The May issue will focus on maternal mental health. 

 http://www.mentalwellnesstoday.com/ to learn more about their magazine.  Anchor magazine provides recovery information and coping strategies to help overcome depression & anxiety. Submissions should be  500-800 words, and can  be sent by March 12th to anchor@mentalwellnesstoday.com. The magazine will select from the stores submitted those that they feel will most benefit their readers. Please copy PSIpr@postpartum.net on your email.

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It was one year ago (March 13, 2013) when I lost my sister, the person with whom I shared a bedroom growing up, traveled to places I never would have had the guts to go had it not been for her, and who was the maid of honor at my wedding, as I was at hers. A person who was a loving and much loved aunt to her 4 nieces and nephews, a devoted daughter to her parents, including when they were each going through struggles with cancer, and a mother to a 10-month-old son who was the apple of her eye and meant everything to her.
When Cindy died by suicide last March, after 6 months of postpartum anxiety and depression, our family was thrown into a surreal world of trying to grieve for someone when you are in a state of shock over a sudden and unexpected death, and doing this while the details of her death, and life, were printed in newspapers and on-line. Explaining the sudden death of their seemingly healthy aunt to my then 5 and 7-year-old daughters was a delicate task, and I continue to seek guidance on this process from social workers, knowing that only more questions will arise over time.
I can’t help but ask myself what I could have done, or what I did that I shouldn't have done, during those 6 months leading up to March 13. I know that is pointless, but I still ask myself, if I had picked up the phone and called her that afternoon instead of sending over a quick check-in e-mail between work meetings, would the sound of my voice have made a difference? I fantasize about talking to her on the phone and discovering what she is planning to do, then keeping her talking long enough for me to write a note to a colleague to call my husband and have him get emergency personnel over to her apartment building before she takes that final step. I know she read my e-mail not long before she died -- maybe if I had written a longer message, talking about my kids, she would have been lifted just a little bit out of the dark place she was in and decided that life was worth living. But I will never know.
As I have tried to find ways to speak up, be an advocate, and educate others, I find myself continuously thinking about many different aspects of what new mothers, and especially those in the throes of mental distress, have to deal with, and wondering which of these factors could have been the one, or the two or three, that led Cindy into the downward spiral that resulted in her death....Read more here.

We are honored to know the Wachenheim Family and friends, and deeply moved to witness their strength and love as they have grieved, sought peace, and stepped forward with dedication to remember and advocate on behalf of their dear sister and friend, Cynthia Wachenheim. 

Karen Wachenheim, Cindy's sister-in-law, has created a Zumbathon to honor Cynthia, increase awareness, and raise funds to improve services for families in New York. The Zumbathon Fundraiser will be on Saturday, March 15th in Latham New York. Learn more about the fundraiser, register to attend, or simply donate to raise funds for PSI and support for pregnant and postpartum moms and families in New York RIGHT HERE. 



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

with the
Repro Psychiatry Group
NAMI North Carolina
Eventbrite - PSI 27th Annual Conference with UNC Center for Women's Mood Disorders


PSI Board Openings
Meet the Board

Apply to Join the Board

All board positions are volunteer positions, open to qualified individuals, and suited best for those with experience or interest in not-for-profit organizations.

The PSI Board is comprised of an Executive Committee -- President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary, and up to nine Committee Chairs, who work in collaboration with other
PSI Board members and committees, PSI Staff, and PSI members to coordinate and initiate projects. Candidates must be willing to volunteer approximately five to ten hours per month. Candidates can live anywhere, but must be able to attend annual PSI June conference, monthly board meetings by 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 skills to good use in a 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 a PSI Committee, but but not be the Chairperson on the board, we would LOVE to hear from you -- please let us know! 

Join our active board and work alongside dedicated PSI members. 
To obtain more information or submit a resume and application, please contact PSI Secretary Robin Harpster.

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Contest for Universal Maternal Mental Health Symbol
PSI is sponsoring a contest to create a universal symbol for Maternal Mental Health. The contest is open to all. Submit your design to symbol@postpartum.net. Deadline is March 31, 2014.

Having a universal symbol will decrease stigma and identify those who use the symbol as people who are invested in helping mothers and families during this difficult time.
PSI feels strongly that the success of this symbol is based on teamwork by all who are involved with Maternal Mental Health and that having an open contest is an excellent way to include and honor all who help moms and families. 

PSI will be the collector of these designs, and the review committee includes key stakeholders in the Maternal Mental Health field who will narrow the submission to the top 10. After selecting ten finalists, all images will be available for public voting from April 14- April 28, 2014 at www.photoscramble.com.
PSI will announce the winner and design at our annual conference in June 2014 at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC. The winner will be awarded free admission to the conference and will be recognized at the Friday night Banquet on June 20, 2014. You can find out more about the contest details RIGHT HERE.

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