The Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color (PMHA-POC)
The Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for People of Color (PMHA-POC) is a program within Postpartum Support International (PSI) that focuses on building capacity among professionals of color to treat individuals, families, and communities dealing with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I co-founded this initiative with Desirée Israel and Jabina Coleman in 2017 to meet the need for an organization focusing on perinatal mental health run *by* people of color *for* people of color. Race, racism, racial trauma, and inequities cannot be "sidebar" issues when we discuss, understand, and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; rather, these issues must be integrated into the perinatal mental health field in order to best meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities of color.
A main component of our work is raising scholarship funds so that mental health professionals of color can attend the annual PSI Conference and trainings; this works towards the goal of diversifying the field of perinatal mental health professionals to better represent diverse communities. Also, if we want to diversify our professional field, the professional trainings offered must also reflect and integrate an understanding of racism and racial trauma and themes of anti-oppression and anti-racism. PMHA-POC is working closely with PSI's leadership to integrate anti-oppression work throughout PSI's trainings.
Our vision is for individuals, families, and communities of color to have timely access to comprehensive, culturally sensitive support around perinatal mood & anxiety disorders and also to see themselves represented in the perinatal professional field.
Our mission is to build capacity among perinatal professionals to better support individuals, families, and communities of color around perinatal mood & anxiety disorders.