To continue to add to my education and skillset as a perinatal mental health therapist, I recently attended the Advanced Psychotherapy Training from Postpartum Support International. I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on some important work that this organization is doing. You can find their website at www.postpartum.net.
PSI is very committed to educating the public about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety disorders. On their website, there is a tab called “Learn More” which includes articles and links to information about symptoms of anxiety and depression during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as more information about obsessive symptoms, bipolar, and psychosis. There are also free resources like posters and educational DVDs available.
Here’s my favorite part. PSI is one of the leading organizations that trains different types of providers who come in contact with families: therapists, doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, doulas, midwives, etc. I took the 2-day Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Components of Care training about a year and a half ago, and found it extremely informative and helpful. I left feeling both validated in my own childbirth experiences and empowered to help other moms who struggle during and after pregnancy and delivery.
Recently, PSI added a certification track for different disciplines, which requires taking a 3rd day of an advanced training. This was the Advanced Psychotherapy training I took in Champaign, IL last weekend. It was helpful to delve a little more into different therapeutic tools for this specific population, and of course I loved how often EMDR was mentioned as a helpful treatment modality!!
A newer feature to PSI which is so helpful is the Perinatal Psychiatric Consult Line. This phone number is for medical providers like OB-GYNs who may not feel comfortable or adequately trained to prescribe psychotropic medications for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, and would like to consult with an expert. They can reach out to this line and their call will be returned within 24 hours by an expert who can help. This is an important service since there are so few psychiatrists or prescribers who specialize in this population, and parents can get help more quickly with their provider that they already trust and have access to.
PSI offers a 24/7 Warmline (meaning you call and leave a message and your call is returned by a trained and caring volunteer) to listen to concerns and connect with local resources.
Their website is also a hub for a list of local support groups, typically held at hospitals or other community settings. There’s also an online support group if you can’t find a local group that fits your schedule!
PSI offers a weekly Chat with an Expert call where questions can be answered anonymously (one for moms, and a separate one for dads!)