Welcome. We’re so glad you are here.

PSI-CA is the California state chapter of Postpartum Support International (PSI), the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from perinatal mood disorders, the most common complication of childbirth.

The mission of Postpartum Support International-CA is to promote equity and inclusion in awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to pregnancy, childbearing, and parenting in California.

PSI-CA Board of Directors Open Positions

We are currently accepting applications for new board members, including Secretary, PSI Liaison, Underserved/Special Populations Chair, Climb Out of the Darkness chair, Social Media Chair, Peer Support Chair, and a Member-At-Large.  Applications are currently available at https://forms.gle/bwKMHveAQRz4F5T76. Position descriptions are at  https://tinyurl.com/56xw2x5w. And the deadline for submitting applications is January 31st, 2023.

  • You are not alone

    All mothers, fathers, and families deserve support during pregnancy and parenthood.

  • You are not to blame

    This time is challenging.

  • You will be well

    Many types of support are available.

Get Help

Whether you are searching for a therapist within your insurance network, a medication prescriber knowledgeable in prescribing during pregnancy and lactation, or looking for a local peer support group, we are here to help.

Postpartum Support International offers an online directory of qualified perinatal mental health (and allied) professionals. Moms, families, and providers can now quickly and easily identify trained perinatal mental health providers in your area.

If you are not able to find what you’re looking for in the directory then please reach out to one of PSI’s Support Coordinators.

Connect with a Local PSI Volunteer

If you, or a loved one, is suffering with perinatal mood disorders, you’ve come to the right place. Contact one of our local PSI Volunteers, who will help guide you through the process of finding a professional near you with expertise and experience in treating perinatal mood disorders.

To connect with one of the Local PSI Volunteers near you, complete this form and they will reach out to you within 48 hours.

We do not offer crisis management services. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911. For additional safety information, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

mom looking out window

Did you know that perinatal mood disorders (PMDs) are the number one medical complication of childbirth? While often referred to as postpartum depression or even simply as postpartum, PMD can take many forms and can also occur during pregnancy. Perinatal mood disorders include depression, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, and (much more rarely) psychosis.

Get the facts by visiting PSI’s website at www.postpartum.net

Get Involved

Want to make a difference? Become a member today.

  • Receive updates from PSI-CA
  • Invitation to Members Only Events
  • Help us fulfill our mission and feel good for helping a great cause!

Memberships are tax-deductible donations.


PSI state chapters are made up of a variety of local stakeholders and further the mission of PSI on a grassroots level. Chapters work on a wide range of initiatives that they dictate for themselves because they know their states best! While some states may focus on passing legislation, others may create a robust network of peer support groups, or compile a state-wide list of perinatal mood disorder providers and resources.

All are welcome at PSI! Survivors, mental health professionals, doulas, clinicians etc. volunteer through the chapter in order to give back to their local communities. We work to reduce stigma, increase awareness, and provide connections to resources.

Climb Out Of The Darkness

Every year, PSI hosts Climb Out Of The Darkness, a movement that invites people from all over the world to host local walks and events to spread awareness of mental health challenges of new families. A Climb can be as simple as a play-date in a park, a hike, or a more elaborate event. The majority of Climbs are held in June, near the summer solstice in celebration of long sunny days and a family’s climb from anxiety and depression to recovery.

We gather as a community to walk and socialize. We meet fellow survivors, supporters & providers.


Host a Climb

We are looking for Climb Leaders to host events in your state. Leaders will go through a quick training, and will have the support of other climb leaders, your state chapter and PSI staff.  Learn More.

For Professionals

PSI Provider Directory

Postpartum Support International offers an online directory of qualified perinatal mental health professionals. Join the registry and share your listing as a mental health provider, a healthcare provider, childbirth professional, or support group. As a specialized provider, you can tailor your directory listing to reach out to potential clients in your area. Keep your profile up-to-date with practice announcements, new programs and groups, and more!

Perinatal Psychiatric Consult Line

The PSI Perinatal Psychiatric Consult Line is a service provided for medical professionals who have questions about the mental health care related to pregnant and postpartum patients and pre-conception planning. It is staffed by reproductive psychiatrists who are members of PSI and specialists in the treatment of perinatal mental health disorders. The service is free and available by appointment. Call 1-877-499-4773 and we will match you with an appointment. We will respond to your request within one business day. This service is available for medical providers only.

Training Sessions

We provide top-notch education and training for professionals both in-person and online allowing you to serve your patients with confidence.

PSI-CA 2021 Training Scholarship

PSI-CA is pleased to offer several training scholarships in 2021. These scholarships seek to increase access to training opportunities for BIPOC providers and providers in underserved communities. Applicants must serve residents of California for consideration. Please note, current PSI members are not eligible.

You must submit your application at least 3 weeks prior to the training for consideration. Click here for a list of trainings.

About Us

The mission of Postpartum Support International-CA is to promote equity and inclusion in awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to pregnancy, childbearing, and parenting in California.

PSI-CA is an all-volunteer organization and a State Chapter of Postpartum Support International, a 501(c)(3) organization.  The Tax ID number of Postpartum Support International and PSI-CA is 77-0196208.

Lorena Aynalem, LCSW, PMH-C

Lorena Aynalem, LCSW, PMH-C is a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Clarita. She is a certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician and focuses her practice on Perinatal Mental Health and overall Women’s Mental Health. She is also a volunteer Coordinator for PSI in the Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster areas and for Ventura County.

Lorena has been in the mental health profession for 15 years. Prior to private practice she worked primarily in the non-profit sector providing counseling services to underserved populations both in-office and community based. Lorena is second generation Latinx with roots from El Salvador. She currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair on the PSI CA Chapter Board of Directors.

Jennifer Cordeau

Jennifer Cordeau

Jennifer Cordeau is a former urban planner/project manager turned Certified Style Coach™ with a passion to help empower and support woman through style. After her own fight with postpartum anxiety and depression, Jennifer was inspired to help raise awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) leading her to a local non-profit in San Diego with the same mission. With a master’s degree in Public Administration and a flair for spreadsheets, she was appointed to the Treasurer position on the local Board. Now, she serves as the Treasurer on the PSI California Board of Directors.

When she’s not helping women to feel confident in their own skin, or busting out a new budget, you can find Jennifer belting out made-up lyrics in the kitchen with her nine-year-old daughter, throwing a mangled chew toy to her dog as if in a scene out of the movie Groundhog Day, giving her husband a hard time, and binge-watching Project Runway episodes.

Dr. Kelly HarkeyDr. Kelly Harkey
Hospital-Medical Liaison Co-Chair

Dr. Kelly Harkey and his wife, Sharon Harkey, CNM are serving together as the Board Liaisons for the Hospital and Medical communities. Kelly and Sharon sought educational training from PSI, to better assist with the management of their patients suffering from PMAD. What became abundantly clear to them was the need for a team approach to establish a comprehensive referral and treatment network in San Diego.

Dr. Harkey is a practicing Obstetrician, as well as serving as the Medical Director for Women’s Services at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. He represents a significant number of providers who have struggled to find the resources in our community to care for PMADs. His goal is to establish a blueprint for medical groups and hospitals, which will allow them to expedite the establishment of such a network, while utilizing the framework that PSI already has in place.

Sharon Harkey

Sharon Harkey
Hospital-Medical Liaison Co-Chair

Sharon Harkey has been in OB/GYN nursing for more than 30 years and a Certified Nurse Midwife for more than 22 years. Her career started out in the Army as a postpartum, then labor & delivery nurse and childbirth educator. After advancing her education with a master’s degree, she has worked as a full scope nurse midwife, adjunct faculty teaching maternal child health to RN students and in research and development. Since her very first day functioning independently as an L&D nurse, caring for a woman delivering a stillbirth, she has felt woefully undereducated in the mental side of maternal health. Seeing many women for their postpartum visits, who were suffering from PMADS with nowhere to send them, she sought out PSI for education and expertise in treating these women, with the hopes to create a maternal mental health model of care with her husband, Dr. Kelly Harkey. Sharon feels it is critical to educate the first line OB providers regarding the scope and needs of our patients suffering with PMADS.

Meri Levy, LMFT, PMH-C, CLE
Chapter Liaison

Meri Levy, LMFT, PMH-C, CLE is a psychotherapist certified in perinatal mental health with a private practice in Lafayette, California. After a 12-year career in energy public policy for the State of California, Meri founded The Nurture Center, a store and resource center for new parents, where she ran support groups and provided breastfeeding assistance as a Certified Lactation Educator. After finishing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Meri volunteered for two years as a PSI support coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently coordinates the PSI online peer consultation groups for mental health providers and facilitates one of the consultation groups monthly. She is Peer Support Chair on the PSI California Board of Directors, and her goal is to make high-quality, inclusive peer support groups available to new mothers throughout California.

Elyse Springer, MA-CLP, LMFT, PMH-CElyse Springer, MA-CLP, LMFT, PMH-C
Established Organizations Chair

Elyse Springer, MA-CLP, LMFT, PMH-C – Elyse Springer is a licensed marriage and family therapist (licensed in CA, OR & WA) with focus on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, pregnancy and infant loss, LGBTQIA+, depression, trauma, anxiety, OCD, and HIV/AIDS. Elyse is an Emeritus Governing Council member for Maternal Mental Health NOW after serving an eight-year Governing Council term, and maintains her role training for the organization. Elyse served as a Board Member of national maternal mental health policy and advocacy non-profit, 2020 Mom, from 2014-2019, and Clinical Advisory panel member from 2019-2021. In addition, Elyse is Emeritus Board Member for national perinatal loss organization Return to Zero: H.O.P.E., and current training faculty. Elyse currently serves as the Established Organizations Board Chair for the California chapter of Postpartum Support International. Elyse is certified in perinatal mental health, certified in Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) by the IPT Institute, certified in EMDR Therapy by EMDRIA, and an EMDRIA-approved consultant-in-training.

Carly Marks, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYTCarly Marks, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYT
Volunteer Chair

Carly Marks, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYT is the owner of Marks Lactation Support, in San Diego, CA where she provides expert infant feeding care. As a Lactation Consultant, she has learned that the way parents feel is dramatically impactful in infant feeding. Human milk is a high priority, but cannot be at expense of a parent’s mental wellbeing.

Carly started her career as a Navy nurse, and her husband continues over 20 years of service in the US Navy. She is a PMADs survivor, although undiagnosed until recently (10 years after the birth event). Because she suffered in silence while piecing together components of care for herself, she knows there is a better way. All families deserve competent care.

Melissa Nefalar, LMFT, PMH-C (she/her)
Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Melissa Nefalar, LMFT, PMH-C is a second generation Filipino-American and native San Diegan. She’s a mom to three kids, has a spouse in education, PMAD survivor, and is passionate to work with parents and their families utilizing mind-body and holistic approaches. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she has a full time private practice specializing in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, brainspotting, children/teens, and grief/loss. She also currently serves on the board of directors for Postpartum Health Alliance (PHA) in San Diego as the PSI Liaison Co-Chair.

Dr. Asheena Lee, M.D.
Social Media Chair

Asheena Lee M.D. is a reproductive psychiatrist in Long Beach, CA. She is a board-certified psychiatrist from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is currently working in private practice and specializes in advanced psychopharmacology during the reproductive cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and postpartum periods. Before private practice, she served as community-based clinical faculty for the University of California, Riverside. She also served on the service committee for an extensive hospital system and the program evaluation committee for the University of Maryland/ Sheppard Pratt Psychiatric residency program. She has performed research that has been published in peer-review journals and has been a speaker for the American Psychiatric Association. Her clinical skills were also recognized with the John Talbot Award for Clinical Excellence.

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