Postpartum Support International

New York

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 New York.

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.

Kathleen Miller Murphy, RN, CCE, BSN, Co-Chair

Kathleen has worked as a nurse for over 30 years in Women’s Health.  Currently, she is the Director of Women’s Health Integration and Community Engagement for Crouse Health in Syracuse, NY.  Kathleen, through her work in Strategic Planning and Program Development helped to create the Crouse Family Support Program along with her colleague Chris Kowaleski which that serves families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression.  She has served as the co- founder and President of Charity for Children, Inc for the last 16 years.  Prior to her current role she worked in L&D, care coordination and education. Kathleen has her own experience with PMAD and wants to bring education and support to other families as well as those that care for them.  Kathleen lives in East Syracuse, NY with her husband & two daughters.

Christine Kowaleski, DNP,NNP-BC,FNP, MHNP-BC, Co-Chair

Chris has worked with new families throughout her nursing career with experience as L&D and NICU nurse , then NICU NP for 25 years during that time she was on the bereavement team for families with loss and subsequently received her Psych NP with a specialty in reproductive psychiatry. She was also the PSI coordinator and volunteer for CNY for 17 years. She helped create the Crouse Perinatal Family Support Program that supports new families dealing with PMAD. Chris lives in Syracuse, NY with her grown children and grandchildren close by and with her favorite dog Ozzy.

Karen Wachenheim, Treasurer

I am a Senior Accountant for the New York State Education Department. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Family Studies and my Certificate in Accounting. I have been an Accountant for 15 years. I am also a Zumba instructor and have been for four years. I live in Upstate NY I have been married for 12 1/2 years. I have two sons, one 11 and one 6. I developed Postpartum Depression with both boys. This is what began my interest in Postpartum Mental Health. A few years after my second son was born, my sister in law developed Postpartum Psychosis and we unfortunately lost her to the illness. It was after this that I decided to become involved with Postpartum Support International. It became our family’s mission and goal to bring awareness and education to as many as we could. I became a Postpartum Support International Volunteer Coordinator in April 2014. I have also hosted Zumba fundraiser events to raise money for Postpartum Support International and will continue to do so.

Elise Derevjank, LMHC, PMH-C, Secretary

Elise is a NYS Licensed Mental health Counselor with perinatal mental health certification through postpartum international. She is also a mother of two. Elise is committed to expanding mental health support options to mothers, parents, and families during an important transitional life period as well as increasing awareness and providing education about the postpartum period. Elise believes it is important to support the “birth” of parents as they become a new blend of themselves. Her practice Becoming Mental Health Counseling focuses specifically on perinatal mental health support.

Laurie Clark, Communications Chair

Laurie Clark holds a degree in Print Journalism from Hofstra University.  She worked for over seven years in publishing before relocating to Syracuse, NY, where she works in healthcare public relations.  When she’s not spending time with her husband, two children and beloved English bulldog, she loves to read, run and work out. Laurie has a great interest in supporting women and families living with PMADs because she feels that it’s an underserved population.  As a mom, she knows the importance of finding your village and wants to do everything possible to support women in their motherhood journey.

Sarah UpdegraftSarah Updegraft, At-Large

Sarah is a Certified Nurse Midwife from Saranac Lake. She joined PSI because she wants to be actively involved in improving awareness of and access to maternal mental health. Sarah enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, gardening, cooking and baking, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Veronica VegaVeronica Vega, Alliance Co-Lead

Veronic Vega is a Social Worker and mental wellness advocate from Westchester County. Veronica found connection, support and training via PSI in her own postpartum journey and says she feels honored to be a part of the Alliance movement, striving to promote postpartum awareness, family support and community connections. She enjoys yoga, hiking, baking and spending time in nature.

Shanah Segal

Shanah Segal, PsyD, PMH-C, At-Large

Shanah Segal is a clinical and forensic psychologist in New York City and Connecticut. She is involved with PSI as a volunteer facilitator for one of the many free group offerings, the NICU group, and is an at-large board member. She provides support, change and advocacy to all those involved in creating and maintaining families. She is driven to create a sense of community where all are acknowledged and welcomed. In her spare time she loves to engage in self-care activities of working out, seeing friends, and spending time with her husband and children.

Michelle ButtonMichelle Button, LCSW-R, PMH-C, At-Large

Michelle Button is a Clinical Social Worker from Port Jefferson and the owner of Passages Wellness & Counseling for Women. She hopes to help expand the mission of PSI by increasing information, access to care and support to birthing women and families throughout the state and the country. She enjoys traveling, photography and crafts.

Agathe C. Pierre-LouisAgathe C. Pierre-Louis, Psy.D., Education Coordinator

Agathe is a clinical psychologist from Orange County. Having experienced her own postpartum depression, she had an affinity for working with the maternal mental health population. She’s devoted to being an advocate in educating, training and treatment of those needing mental health support during their postpartum journey.

Lauren TetenbaumLauren Tetenbaum, Advocacy Lead

Lauren Tetenbaum is a social worker in Westchester County. Lauren joined PSI to provide the support she wished she’d had when she became a mom. She says: “​​It’s my pleasure and privilege to advocate for policies that enhance maternal mental health, like paid family leave and eliminating bias in healthcare. PSI is an amazing organization with so many incredible resources!” She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, time with family and friends and cheesy movies.

Julie RosinskiJulie Rosinski, LCSW-R, PMH-C, Chapter Liason

Julie is a clinical social worker and co-director of WNY Postpartum Connection, Inc., from Buffalo. As a clinical social worker, Julie knows how important resources, support, and information is for postpartum families, as well as education for service providers working with postpartum families. Julie loves to read and spend time outdoors and is hoping to train her dog to become a therapy dog.

Kate JwaskiewiczKate Jwaskiewicz, Communications Co-Chair

Kate is the Northeast Regional Climb Manager for PSI Climb Out. She got involved with PSI because she was healed and wants to help other moms heal. Kate enjoys reading, kickboxing, supporting moms and her kids and husband.

Megan Smucker RaymondMegan Smucker Raymond, Membership Coordinator

Megan is a Psychotherapist from Brooklyn. After suffering from prenatal depression during her pregnancies, she was moved to use her background and experience as a therapist to join this network of providers, focusing on servicing the perinatal population.

Rochelle SteinwurtzelRochelle Steinwurtzel, At-Large

Rochelle is a psychologist from Westchester County. She believes there is a need to address perinatal mood and anxiety disorders from many angles and thinks PSI is an incredible organization that brings people in the field together in many meaningful ways. Rochelle enjoys tennis, yoga, cooking, traveling and sewing.

Elizabeth WalshElizabeth Walsh, BSN, PMHNP, Education

Elizabeth Walsh is Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from Monroe. She joined PSI because reproductive mental health is important to her. She enjoys hiking, foraging and being a ‘mom taxi.’

Want to make a difference in New York?

Become a member or donate today!

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.

Become a PSI-NY Volunteer

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.

Contact the Chapter to find out about volunteer opportunities near you. Explore other volunteer opportunities on the PSI website.


PSI-NY offers scholarships for PSI perinatal mental health trainings and conferences.

Please contact the Chapter for more information.

PSI-NY News & Events

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