One of my great joys is to host visitors in our Santa Barbara home. We are delighted to welcome PSI friends from around the world. Recently, Saralee Glasser arrived from Israel to share time with us. She is a developmental psychologist and senior researcher at the Gertner Institute of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research for Israel’s Ministry of Health. Saralee’s fields of interest are early mother-infant interaction, women’s health and mental health, and the interface of mental health, community and medical services. She is a native of Los Angeles and immigrated as a young mother to Israel.
During dinner at a local beach side restaurant, members of our Santa Barbara County Maternal Mental Health Collaborative learned about the progress that has been made in Israel under her leadership. It began with Saralee translating and validating the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in Hebrew. What began as clinical observations during the 1980s led to extensive research, networking and policy development. The Gertner Institute team actively promoted universal screening of all pregnant and postpartum women at 100s of Mother Child Health Care Clinics and HMOs. Working with the Mental Health Clinics, a 2 day seminar on Perinatal Emotional Disorders was held in March of 2011 for professionals from 28 clinics. Perinatal Coordinators were identified and a system of referral was established. The latest step is the Ministry’s directive mandating EPDS screening in all ante-and postnatal follow up clinics as of January 1, 2013. To learn more about the impressive accomplishments in Israel visit their website at: www.gertnerinst.org.il Thank you, Saralee, for your years of tenacity and loving dedication to Israeli families.