A Year of Growth and Change at the Seleni Institute

In 2016, we took our mission overseas, brought together thought leaders to address critical issues affecting women and families, and expanded our team

December 19, 2016

We are proud of our accomplishments this year and humbled by the support we have received from new additions to our personnel team, a growing body of committed volunteers, and increasing financial support from individuals and organizations that recognize the critical importance of our mission: to destigmatize and transform mental health and wellness by addressing real-life issues that challenge the emotional health of women, men, and their families. With this kind of incredible support and growth, we were able to serve 40 percent more patients than in 2015 and host close to 70 Seleni Institute workshops and clinics, as well as these important milestones:

We launched an international training program
We believe that strengthening mental health for women and families is a global imperative, which is why we were so excited to launch our international mental health training program in May in Athens, Greece. More than 250 mental health providers came together at the Hellenic American College to receive a free, evidenced-based maternal mental health training led by Seleni’s expert clinicians. 

This fall our clinicians brought their expertise to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they presented to mental health care providers at the renowned Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín and at local nonprofit organizations. This endeavor focused on advances in perinatal mental health in the United States, including a review of recent changes in legislation and practice as well as an overview of treatment interventions that can be applied in international settings.

We trained more U.S. providers than ever
This was the second year we offered our two-day Maternal Mental Health Intensive, and we saw a tremendous increase in demand for training social workers, psychologists, psychoanalysts, and clinical directors of community-based health mental health programs in advanced maternal mental health care.

Over the course of two days, these providers learned evidence-based techniques to diagnose and treat common emotional health issues affecting women and families that are often overlooked in conventional mental health settings. And we were gratified to have our program chosen as a recipient of scholarship applicants through Postpartum Progress' Mental Health in Color Initiative.

We continued our commitment to young parents and teens
This year, more than 100 women and men attended our Young Parent Expos to learn newborn care techniques from our clinicians and to discuss ways of being empowered as a young parent in New York City with Gloria Malone, a teen parent advocate who had her daughter at age 15. We look forward to expanding our Teen Initiative with additional programming in the coming year.

We advanced the cause of families on the national stage
We were honored to have the opportunity to extend the reach of our mission through high-profile speaking engagements attended by legislators, CEOs, and influencers. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice invited Seleni founder and interim CEO Nitzia Logothetis to speak about mental health parity, maternity leave, and the impact of poor mental health in women at a congressional breakfast in Washington, D.C. this past November. 

She was also thrilled to speak at the White House's United State of Women Summit on gender equality issues as well as the importance of paid parental leave at the Concordia Summit. There we hosted a panel on parental leave, which was moderated by CNN correspondent Kelly Wallace and featured executives from Etsy, Hilton Worldwide, and Foursquare.

We gained significant and important exposure in the mainstream media
As our organization's impact and influence grows, we have become a go-to organization for the media on issues such as mental illness, parenting, and loss. Our clinical director Dr. Christiane Manzella talked about ways to destigmatize miscarriage in The Washington Post, and clinician Patricia Harteneck's suggestions for rituals to boost mental health were featured in Reader's Digest. In Manhattan Magazine, Nitzia Logothetis shared her thoughts on the benefits – to both parents and children – of letting children handle adversity on their own. Perhaps most significantly, CNN featured Seleni's panel on parental leave at the Concordia Summit in an in-depth piece about the potential for changes in national and corporate policy to support families.

We grew the Seleni family
Our wave of growth continued as we welcomed Annika Sten Pärson as new clinical chief executive officer, Eunice Liriano as head of our marketing and development team, Marianela Faría to oversee our public programming, and psychologist Shara Marrero Brofman to our clinical team. We also welcomed eight additional staff members to our foundation, and we are excited to head into 2017 with such a talented team.

Thank you all for supporting not only Seleni, but women and families everywhere. We wish you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.