Postpartum Support International-WV Chapter

  • January 15, 2024

 

Postpartum Support International-West Virginia Chapter (PSI-WV) formed in May 2023, joining 48 other states with the focus to educate and promote the care and wellbeing of those impacted by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).

While we have only been in existence for less than a year, we are motivated by a common goal of helping the mothers and families of WV, as we believe that by taking care of the mothers, we can improve the outcomes of generations to come.  Our focus this first year is simply to start a conversation… we want to let providers in our state know that we exist and what we can offer, and that we’re always willing to tag in on a difficult case with our expertise in treating this special population.  The perinatal period runs from conception to 1 year postpartum, and in that time frame, affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 partners.  In WV alone, this equates to 3500 births per year that are impacted by PMADs.  It has been estimated that the costs of undiagnosed/untreated perinatal mental health disorders is $32,000 per mother/baby pair, which equates to $112 million in the state of WV.

Our diverse board has been hard at work to spread the word through tabling at conferences, educating other professionals, and meeting with those that are the first line of defense for the mothers around our state.  We’re working to develop relationships with organizations such as the WV Perinatal Partnership, Sisters of S. Joseph, WV Child Advocacy Network, WV Rural Health Association, and Forgiven Warrior. 

Goals for 2024 and beyond are simple: Outreach and Education.  Our board hopes to continue to spread the word about what PSI-WV can do to improve maternal outcomes across our state, including advocacy for those that are underserved and overlooked.  We also hope to double the number of certified providers in our state, as it is our hope that our outreach work will encourage more to screen for PMADs and increase the referrals for appropriate care.  So many moms who have stumbled onto us by chance have stated that PMADs was never discussed with them as even a possibility, and even when they tried to ask for help, providers were unsure where to guide them for support.

We are looking forward to presenting a crash course in the treatment of PMADS at the Highland Conference and the LPCA Conference in 2024.  Additionally, we have been invited to be involved in the WV Perinatal Partnership Conference and the WV Wellness Festival.  We are eager to host our first Climb Out of the Darkness event on June 29, 2024, both in person and virtually.

You can learn more about PSI-WV, our goals, board members, and how to get involved by visiting us at https://psichapters.com/wv/.

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Kayla Mullin, MA, LPC, AADC, PMH-C

Owner, Montani Mental Health LLC

Co-Chair, PSI-WV

 

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