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.

PSI NY CHAPTER Co-Chair: Kathleen Miller Murphy, RN, CCE, BSN

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.

PSI NY Chapter Co- Chair: Christine Kowaleski, DNP,NNP-BC,FNP, MHNP-BC

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.

PSI NY Chapter Treasurer: Karen Wachenheim

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.

PSI NY Secretary Elise Derevjank, LMHC, PMH-C

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.

PSI NY Chapter Liason: Tanairy Fernandez

Tanairy is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in Anxiety Disorders. Tanairy has extensive experience counseling clients with Anxiety, Panic Attacks, OCD, Depression, during the Pregnancy and postpartum phase. Tanairy treats children, adolescents, and adults. She has a clinical background in Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) with a focus on Mindfulness. In addition to her full time practice she is a volunteer for the Postpartum Support International (PSI) NY Chapter. She serves as a Clinical supervisor for the Graduate Mental Health Counseling internship program. Her group private practice is located in located in Huntington, NY.

PSI NY Communications Chair: Laurie Clark

Laurie Clark holds a degree in Print Journalism from Hofstra University.  She worked for over seven years in publishing, as a publicist to authors at two major NYC publishing houses (Penguin Random House and HarperCollins), before relocating to Syracuse, NY. Currently, she works in corporate communications in the QSR industry.  Personally, she is an avid runner who is active in the Syracuse running community and is a member of PRSA’s CNY Chapter.   She lives in Syracuse with her husband, two children and a bulldog.

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, Laurie knows the importance of finding your village and wants to do everything possible to support women in their motherhood journey.

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

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