Postpartum Support International
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Visit the PSI online directory to find qualified perinatal mental health professionals in your area.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from perinatal mood disorders, the most common complication of childbirth.
Our Mission is to increase awareness, education, prevention, and treatment of perinatal mental health issues affecting individuals, their families, and support systems in all areas of California.
Our Vision is that all pregnant and postpartum individuals and their families, including those from underserved communities, will have access to perinatal support, mental health/healthcare providers, education, and resources to improve overall well-being through advocacy, training, and increased awareness of perinatal mental health.
Meet the PSI-CA Board of Directors
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. Her practice is in Long Beach, California.
Meri Levy, LMFT, PMH-C, CLE is a perinatal psychotherapist and mother to four grown children. She is a Certified Lactation Educator, and holds certifications in Perinatal Mental Health and Pain Reprocessing Therapy. In her youth, Meri was a suicide prevention hotline volunteer and a political activist. After a twelve year career in public policy for the State of California, and her own own difficult PMAD journey, she founded The Nurture Center, a store and resource center for new parents, where she sold maternity, baby and breastfeeding products, ran support groups, and provided breastfeeding assistance. After returning to school to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Meri began volunteering for PSI as a support coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been coordinating the PSI virtual peer consultation groups for mental health providers for the past several years, and she facilitates one of the consultation groups monthly. Meri has a Masters degree in Economics from New Mexico State University as well as a Masters in Counseling Psychology from JFK University. She lives and works in the San Francisco East Bay Area.
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. She lives in San Diego, California.
Alicia Mittleman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in West Sacramento, CA. Alicia is a Certified Brainspotting Therapist and specializes in working with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, individuals experiencing grief and loss, and individuals with a history of trauma. Alicia is a mother to two children and is a PMAD survivor. In addition to running a full-time private practice, Alicia enjoys volunteering at her children’s school, participating in her local Rotary Club, and serving on local non-profit boards in her community to enhance outdoor and play spaces for children and families. Alicia is passionate about ensuring every parent has access to adequate mental health care to treat PMAD’s and to receive adequate support to help their families thrive.
Dr. Dretona Maddox is an esteemed assistant professor of social work at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (CBSS) at California Baptist University. As a suicide loss survivor who experienced both pregnancy and homelessness as a teenager, Dr. Maddox has faced numerous challenges and has overcome adversity throughout her life. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix, her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California, and her Doctor of Social Work from California Baptist University, where she researched barriers to health equity in maternal health for pregnant Black teens.
Dr. Maddox’s current research interests lie in the area of Black Adolescent Maternal Health, reflecting her passion for improving the well-being of vulnerable populations. In addition to her academic accomplishments, Dr. Maddox is the founding executive director of Purposely Chosen, Inc., a non-profit organization that offers support and advocacy services to pregnant and parenting teens in foster care. Under her leadership, Purposely Chosen, Inc. operates two maternity homes in the Inland Empire of Southern California, providing vital resources and assistance to young mothers in need.
Dr. Kelly Harkey and his wife, Sharon Harkey, CNM are serving together as the Board Liaisons for Frontline Providers. 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. The Harkeys live in San Diego, California.
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.
Lisette became a first time mom during the COVID pandemic and found PSI online support groups through a desperate, late night social media search. Once recovered, Lisette began to volunteer with PSI in the Online Support Groups Program and helped launch the Perinatal Support for Latinx Moms and Birthing People. Prior to parenthood, Lisette worked in Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry and now works for PSI as the Online Support Groups Program Assistant. Lisette has a passion for peer support since it was so vital in her recovery from Perinatal Depression, Anxiety, OCD and Birth Trauma. Lisette is also an advocate for adequate Perinatal Mental Health support and hopes to normalize mental health challenges related to childbearing by openly sharing her experience on social media. Lisette lives in the SF Bay Area, CA with her 2 year old daughter Sybil, husband Chris and their dilute calico cat Izzy. In her spare time she loves to watch classic TCM movies, listen to audiobooks, cook (uninterrupted) and bake yummy recipes she finds online. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Elyse Springer currently serves as the Policy and Advocacy Chair for the California chapter of Postpartum Support International and 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, as well as training faculty for paternal-focused non-profit, Love, Dad. Elyse is certified in perinatal mental health, an EMDRIA-approved Therapist and EMDRIA-approved Consultant, certified in Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) by the IPT Institute and an IPT Supervisor-in-training. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
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.
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.
Brittany Welch is a former education specialist and survivor of postpartum PTSD and preeclampsia. Brittany is a mom with a heart for maternal mental health. She joined the Climb Out of the Darkness Team as her local coordinator in 2022 while still pregnant and then postpartum with her second child. Brittany’s experiences regarding maternal mental health span the entire spectrum of services which helps her share information and support other struggling parents. You can find Brittany in the garden, at the park, or hiking local trails with her two littles. She lives in the California Central Valley.
Geneses Abril is a health communicator and storyteller. She is passionate about utilizing communication and marketing strategies to help individuals thrive, advance, and connect. She has employed the art and science of health communication to support initiatives, collaborations, movements, and projects for over ten years. As a spirited learner and motivated applicator, she received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a master’s degree in health communication from Northwestern University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Southern California. She lives and works in San Bernadino County.
Jackie Crown is a Doctor of Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine, licensed Acupuncturist and a Certified Postpartum Doula, empowering expectant and new mothers to take charge of their postnatal recovery. She supports each client on their path to recovery from pregnancy, childbirth and into motherhood, considering all components of their mental, physical & emotional wellbeing.
After many years in Advertising & Marketing, Jacky followed her passion for health and wellness, pursuing a career in integrative medicine, acupuncture and functional nutrition. She had her first child in 2018 and quickly realized the profound difficulties of the postpartum period, which ultimately launched her into the field of perinatal medicine.
Jackie is the founder of Fourthouse Wellness, with a mission to elevate postnatal recovery care, offering specialized clinical services to help mothers navigate pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. With advanced training in Perinatal Mental Health, Jackie cares deeply about maternal mental health and has volunteered as a PSI Support Coordinator since early 2020.
Jackie lives in Marin County, California with her husband and three young children.
Carol Mackay has a degree in Developmental Psychology and has supported families for over 25 years in the US and Canada. Her career has allowed her to work with college students, single-parent families, immigrant women and girls, families during the perinatal period, fathers, and youth needing legal support and resources.
In Calgary, AB, Carol expanded PMAD services to include first-language telephone support in Cantonese, Spanish, and Arabic and to rural families with little access. Her work also included training healthcare staff and in-home support workers about perinatal mood disorders and connecting them with the appropriate resources.
Carol has extensive knowledge and experience with Board and committee work. She was a founding board member of the Children’s Legal and Educational Resource Centre (CLERC). She also sat on numerous committees, including; family violence, homelessness, diversity and inclusion in health institutions, and perinatal mood disorders, to name a few. Carol looks forward to bringing her passion and commitment to helping families to the Board of PSI-CA. Carol lives in the San Fernando Valley area of California.
Daniella Bermudez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in perinatal mental health, reproductive health, and grief and loss. Working in the field of suicide prevention, crisis management, and community health, she is an advocate for non-carceral approaches to wellness and ending stigma. She is a mom with her own lived experience with mental health. She is dedicated to reducing barriers to access to care and providing support and education to birthing persons and their loved ones. She lives and works in the San Francisco East Bay Area.
Dr. Ozen Irmak, is a neuroscientist and the CEO and Cofounder of Tibi Health. During her first pregnancy and postpartum period, she experienced perinatal depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts. This first-hand experience sparked her interest in the maternal mental health field. In 2017-18, while as a stay-home-mom, she conducted a small scale, proof of concept, completely remote study to better understand the communication gaps between perinatal mothers and their healthcare providers. The experience of mothers participating in this study opened new questions for her around gaps in our healthcare system, ultimately leading to a career change, going back to school and founding Tibi. At Tibi, she is leading a small team developing digital tools to facilitate timely detection, treatment, and prevention of parental mental health disorders. She lives in San Francisco with her two daughters and partner.
Dr Ozen Irmak is a strong advocate for implementing proactive and integrative care practices to address mental health disorders in a scalable and effective way. In her free time, she enjoys leading a PMADs support group for the PSI, as she is a huge fan of the PSI vision of empowering parents with social support, information and access to professional care. Dr Ozen Irmak is honored to be a part of and is looking forward to serving to the PSI-CA community and California parents as a PSI-CA Chapter Board Member-at-Large.
Dr. Glezer began her training at Harvard and then transitioned to the University of California, San Francisco, where she has been a practicing physician, teacher, mentor, and is a volunteer associate professor. She is board certified in adult and forensic psychiatry, a member of the American Psychiatric Association, and a past President of the Northern California Psychiatric Society. Dr. Glezer is the founder of Women’s Wellness Psychiatry, a reproductive & integrative psychiatry clinic serving patients across California. She also developed the online Fellowship in Reproductive & Integrative Psychiatry and the Bay Area Perinatal Mental Health Conference, now in its 7th year. She enjoys mentoring and consulting clinicians who are starting out in private practice and has written a guidebook on the topic, and she has been a speaker at various local, regional, and national events and conferences. You can find her online (www.AnnaGlezerMD.com; www.PsychiatryFellowship.com; www.StartAPsychPractice.com), in your podcast app, and on social media where she aims to raise awareness of topics related to women’s mental health. Dr. Glezer works in San Francisco and lives in the East Bay.
Maria Fuenzalida is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Perinatal Mental Health Provider and Certified Grief Educator in private practice in the San Fernando Valley, where she specializes in women’s mental health, especially as it relates to family planning, pregnancy, and childbirth. Maria is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and Postpartum Support International. She is also fluent in Spanish and has worked as a bilingual social worker throughout her career.
Maria’s professional experience includes over a decade working in the Child Welfare field. She has worked with various mental health issues across all socio-economic backgrounds. She has extensive experience working with families impacted by intimate partner violence and with adult survivors of child abuse, including incest and human trafficking survivors.
Maria has worked in school-based settings and volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, focusing on long-term hospitalizations’ impact on a child’s development, has volunteered with AIDS hospice patients at the former Carl Bean House hospice and for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Maria has lobbied for extending services for transitional-age foster youth, marriage equality and transgender rights. She is also passionate about working with parents of children with special needs. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work specializing in Child and Family well-being from California State University-Long Beach and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from California State University-Los Angeles. She also earned a certificate in Child Maltreatment and Family Violence. She lives in Los Angeles County, California.
Rebecca Hardt is a California native, currently residing in the California Central Coast with her two sons. She is a proud mother of “two under two”, however, her second son’s birth was traumatic. After an unexpected family death in late 2021, she went through a difficult time with postpartum PTSD, which led her to finding PSI. Rebecca joined the peer mentor program and attended peer support group meetings which helped her along the journey of healing from trauma and loss. Rebecca has made it her personal and professional mission to increase local resources for perinatal mental health in her small town community. While she has been a practicing Marriage and Family Therapist for over a decade, Rebecca added a perinatal mental health certification to her credentials in 2022. Ms. Hardt is pleased to join the California chapter of PSI, having come full circle to now volunteer for the organization that she credits for the primary support in her personal recovery.
PSI relies on members and contributions from the community to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of maternal mental health issues related to childbearing.
All memberships are tax-deductible.
There are many ways to help and volunteer with PSI, and we would love to have you join us. All are welcome at PSI! Survivors, mental health professionals, doulas, clinicians, and anyone else interested and passionate about raising awareness about perinatal mental health can volunteer through the chapter in order to give back to their local communities.
PSI Chapters are made up of a variety of local advocates and stakeholders who further the mission of PSI on a grassroots level. Chapters work on a wide range of initiatives that they develop based on their communities needs. While some chapters may focus on passing legislation, others may create a robust network of peer support groups, and all chapters provide scholarships for PSI trainings and events.
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