Revised Edition of I’m Listening

This edition of I’m Listening brings men into the equation and focuses on the mental wellness of all parents. It is my hope that we will switch our language to be more inclusive and I prefer the term parental mental health.

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Meet Jane

Attend a Postpartum Action Institute Workshop in Santa Barbara and meet Jane. PAI is created for individuals who are committed to confronting the stigma of mental illness and the mythology surrounding new parenthood.

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New Family Support

I’m a mom and grandmother who understands how you may be feeling. I want to offer you support because no one was there for me when I went through this, and I want you to have a better experience.

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Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance and Support

Embrace the Gaps in Your Past

My intention is to listen to your stories and validate your experiences and feelings. My primary goal is to acknowledge and encourage you to find those who share how you feel and to support your dream to connect meaningfully with others. I am excited to share my four decades of life experience, research and insights that will guide you to make a confident impact in your life and your community. I will provide affirmation, guidance and support, along with practical and proven strategies to navigate you through your life challenges. Everyone needs reassurance and clarity to create a vision for their life and to feel connected and fulfilled. I am here to help you define that vision in a way that is consistent with who you truly are. Together we’ll develop strategies to enable you to achieve your own unique objectives and achieve a lasting sense of affirmation. We will commit to moving forward with courage and patience as you face the challenges that create ‘the Gap’ in your life.

Reducing Mental Health Stigma

I’m a proud member of the Congregation B’nai Brith Mental Health Initiative, whose mission is “to reduce the stigma of mental illness by supporting congregants and their families through education and promoting emotional and spiritual wellness.” Far from being a lofty or abstract goal, however, this sentiment represents a critical truth that has shaped me personally, professionally, and as a Jew. I’m involved in the Mental Health Initiative because it is important to have conversations about difficult and complex topics. But I’m also involved in this work because I know from personal experience that the stigma around mental health encourages secrecy, and that, as an editorial in Reform Judaism once wrote, “secrets come at a high price to ourselves and our loved ones.” Read more

The Conception and Birth of PEP

“I have a woman on the line whose baby won’t stop crying, shall I put her through” the answering service operated asked.

“Yes, please go ahead,” I replied as I prepared myself for my first PEP Warm Line call. Hopefully the skills I had acquired in training sessions would help me give this mother the support she needed. “Hi, I’m Jane, the PEP volunteer on duty, may I help you?” Read more

The Onset of Parenthood

It was 2 AM and Stephen would not stop crying. He was four days old and creating an increasingly difficult situation for his unskilled, new parents. If only we could go back to the hospital, I wished, it was so organized and peaceful there. My attempts to calm him and my urgent desire for some sleep were being ruined by his incessant crying. In total frustration, I placed him on the floor next to the rocking chair (where we had been trying to act out the picture perfect mother-and-child scene) and I ran from his room in tears. I met his equally distraught father in the hallway and sobbed, “I don’t know what to do with him, you take care of him. Read more

The Role of Social Support in the Prevention, Intervention and Treatment of Perinatal Mood Disorders

The Support Groups represent the most significant and useful aspect of the renaissance in the recognition and treatment of postpartum illness.”

James Alexander Hamilton, Ph.D., M.D.

This chapter will describe the history, principles, and types of social support. A specific and systematic social support approach will be detailed. Six stages will be recommended to organize a community based social support network.Read more