As a survivor of both infertility and PPD, Crystal knows how hard and lonely it can be. She has built a private practice specializing in perinatal mental health (Iris Reproductive Mental Health in Burnsville), and was one of the founding members of PPSM. She is also involved with PSI as a State Coordinator, as well as being part of the Justice & Advocacy Committee, working to better arm expert witnesses with the education that they need to be involved in perinatal mental health related court cases.
Samantha is an advanced practice nurse specializing in women's reproductive mental health. She practices at Nystrom & Associates in Brainerd & Apple Valley, as well as being the Founder & Director of their Intensive Outpatient Perinatal Mental Health program in Eden Prairie. Samantha also provides clinical supervision for graduate nursing students. She is an advocate for clients receiving appropriate, personalized, and unbiased treatment for their individual needs, which includes integrative medicine.
Maureen is a psychologist who specializes in supporting couples and families through the early parenting years. She offers marriage and parenting classes at her private therapy practice in Richfield, and writes successful a weekly newsletter- "Note from a Marriage Geek." She offers a monthly consultation group for clinicians focusing on families. Maureen is a founding board member of the Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo, as well as one of the founding members of PPSM.
Allison has worked in the mental health field for more than 13 years in a variety settings, including residential treatment, day treatment, in-home therapy and outpatient practice. She specializes in working with young people with self-injurious and suicidal behaviors, and is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and clinical hypnosis. She obtained her master's degree in counseling psychology from University of St.Thomas and her bachelor's degree in psychology from Viterbo University. Currently she is a member of Minnesota Women in Psychology. Allison owns Mindful Families in Edina, and is the facilitator of the Mindful Mondays for Moms group.
Lauren is the owner of Wild Tree Psychotherapy in St. Paul, specializing in PMADs and trauma treatment. Lauren has completed the PSI & 2020 Mom Professional Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training and continues to pursue advanced training in the areas of PMAD treatment and mental health care for birth trauma experiences. Lauren entered the birth world in 2012 and continues to speak at various moms groups, present on the topic of sex and relationships after baby, and supporting young families entering and navigating parenthood.
Danielle practices at Ellie Family Services in Richfield. She specializes in PMAD
treatment, and utilizes EMDR to help support clients who have
experienced trauma. She is creator of a unique in-home therapy curriculum for
new parents in need of therapy, but have difficulty attending appointments outside of the home. She trains interns to do the same! She has worked in the past as a birth doula and a yoga instructor!
Michele is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She has a DNP from the University of Minnesota, during which she focused her studies on women's health & PMADs. She has completed PSI Maternal Mental Health Trainings. A survivor of postpartum depression, Michele personally
experienced providers who were not aware of PMADs. She hopes through legislation to change the way healthcare is informed about perinatal mental health. She is currently in
private practice at Mental Health Counseling Services in Minneapolis, and is trained in yoga & Healing Touch modalities.
Maima is a mental health specialist who has worked in private practice and community settings. She currently runs a moms group in Burnsville in partnership with a local community agency. She is completing her doctorate degree at St. Thomas University, and her dissertation will focus on adverse birth outcomes for African-American women. Her role as Member-at-Large will be focusing on improving treatment for women of color, and community-based training.
She has been a volunteer for PPSM for the past 3 years.
Morgan is a mom of an adorable two year old -> and would like to share her experience, strength, and hope, and let
new mothers know that they are not alone in their struggles. She is passionate about advocacy, volunteerism and community outreach. As our community member of large, this warrior mama has already gone a long way with engaging others in need of support! She is actively involved with using social media to engage the community!
Community Outreach Director: Danielle Cotter, MA LMFT
Legislation Director & Treasurer: Michele Anderson, DNP email
Professional Member-at-Large: Maima Fant, LICSW
Community Member-at-Large: Morgan Scherer
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about? I have a head stored with music lyrics and movie quotes, but can’t remember what I had for breakfast.
What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to change?Understanding that treating this population is a specialty that requires advanced training & experience. Most insurance companies have "postpartum depression" as a box to check, and anyone can check it. Working with perinatal mental health is a specialty that needs to be separated out, just like eating disorders or chemical dependency.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?That I am an introvert, and really dislike small talk. It's also why I hate (HATE) talking on the phone. I will do anything I can to avoid it.
What do you find most challenging about working with PPSM?Reframing big dreams into manageable pieces.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?I don't like chocolate or ice cream.
What do you think will change about treating PMADs over the next five years?Precision medicine will become more mainstream, using genetics to guide medical treatment. Also, the upcoming medical treatments for postpartum depression are a game changer. They will further solidify PMADs as a legitimate medical condition, improve treatment outcomes and their marketing efforts will increase awareness and education.
Who is someone you admire, and why?
I am a huge fan of Michele Obama- love how she models grace and courage while focusing on caring both the world and her own family.
Your top 3 favorite Books?
Out of Control by Shefali Tsabary
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
What is something people in your industry have to deal with that you want to fix? I am frustrated with how hard it is for people to get the help that they need. Mental health services can be tough to navigate.
What's your first memory of being involved with PPSM?The first training I attended, I was amazed by the passion of people in the community to help families and the power of sharing information as a group to help.
Who is someone you admire, and why?Madeleine Albright Former United States Secretary of State because she paved the way for women in politics while be a mom. She's also an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, as is my family!
What are your favorite Books/Apps?I love to read. Wally Lamb's books ares some of my favorites. He does an amazing job of helping you understand another person's mental health struggles. I also use and recommend meditation apps!
What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to fix?The stigma and resultant secrecy around experiencing mental health challenges. It's about 1 in 4 people. If it's not you, then I guarantee it's one of your friends or family members. Start talking about it.
Your top 3 favorite Podcasts/Books/Apps?Podcast: BirthKweens, App: Headspace, Book: Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?I was a dancer for many years, which led me into some of my first leadership roles. Those include being captain of both my high school and college dance teams, as well as coaching a high school dance team. and judging high school dance competitions for a number of years.
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?I LOVE to write! (Check out her blog- Motherhood Empowered!)
What do you find most challenging about working with PPSM?Narrowing down ALL the GREAT ideas into an actionable plan.
What is your favorite quote?"She believed she could, so she did."
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?I lead gong meditations.
Your top 3 favorite books?The Body Keeps the Score, Pathologies of Power, and Man's Search for Meaning.
What do you find most challenging about working with PPSM?Often not enough time to accomplish all of the goals.
What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to fix?Racial disparities in maternal mental health care. I would like to see more women of color receive & benefit from treatment, and address stigma surrounding mental health in communities of color. In addition, it is my belief that the health community should deal with the presence of provider bias and discrimination when assessing and treating pregnant and postpartum women of color.
Your top 3 favorite Podcasts?
1. Mom & Mind
2. Therapy for Black Girls
3. The Daily Boost
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?I really enjoy having dance parties in the living room with my husband and kids!
Who is someone you admire, and why?Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He was the definition of a truly wholesome human being. He radiated love and kindness and wanted nothing more than to make people smile and spread love in this world. (If you haven’t seen “Won’t you be my Neighbor”, I strongly recommend!)
Your favorite books?Honestly, I am not much of a reader. But for me, a gratitude journal is transformational and I think everyone could benefit from keeping one.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?Probably that I’m a grateful alcoholic, and suffered from a PMAD before i decided to get help. To this day, people tell me they had “no idea” when I speak about my struggles. I would like to change thejudgement and stigma that comes with addiction.
Meet the Support Team
The people who are behind the scenes- but we all know we cannot live without!
Sarah has over 10 years experience treating adults, adolescents, and couples in community mental health centers, addiction centers, as well as in private practice. She specializes in helping women who are suffering with PMADs, miscarriage, and infertility issues.
What do you wish more people knew in regards to PMADs?More awareness that some women experience trauma during labor & delivery, and some women with a history of sexual trauma can be triggered during labor and delivery. It is so important that providers be aware of this & be sensitive to women during this vulnerable time.
Your favorite books?I love any book by Brene Brown.
Marketing Consultant: Stephanie Olson
Stephanie has years of background working in marketing for large corporations, and has recently begun doing freelance work and interior design. She is the brains behind things like our new rack cards, social media ads, and tells us how to improve our visibility in the community.
What's your first memory of being involved with PPSM?Searching the website when I needed help as a new mom!
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?I have mad jump rope skills - I was on a jump rope team growing up.
Newsletter Editor: Jenica Domanico
Secretary: Maggie Rocke
Jenica is an Occupational Therapist, and owner of Mom + Me, where she provides in-home support to moms who are recovering physically and mentally from birth. She has a background working in a crisis mental health setting, and is passionate about trauma-informed care. She runs a moms group in collaboration with a local chiropractor.
What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?I really get into the zone when I am cooking. It needs to be a recipe that requires some skill so I am always trying new recipes. I love the multitasking and the analytics of cooking.
What do you wish other people knew about PMADs?I wish people would know that waiting for a mom to ask for help many times means it is too late. Moms need way more physical and emotional support than they are getting. And when they seem like they may be needing you to ask how things are going ASK!
Maggie has a background in education and special education. She is a survivor of PPD, and is thankful for the quick & compassionate care she received from her provider and PPSM! She also volunteers for Babywearing Twin Cities.
Do you have any skills that most people don't know about? My undergraduate degree is in studio art with a concentration in metal sculpture. I primarily worked in bronze, but also dabbled in steel. I even considering becoming a professional welder after graduation.
What do you wish other people knew about PMADs?There is this persistent image of motherhood as a beautiful experience, which it can be, but it certainly isn't all the time. I think many women suffer longer than they need to because they think they're the only one who feels a certain way, or believe they won't get better, when in reality PMADs are common and there are many effective treatments.