Adrienne Griffen is the founder and executive director of Postpartum Support Virginia (PSVa), which she started to fill a gap in services for women. When she experienced postpartum depression and anxiety in 2002, it took almost six months to find the help she needed. Since then, she has been providing information, outreach, and support to new mothers and healthcare providers.
“I kept thinking, it can’t be this hard, right?” Griffen said of her experience finding help. “If it’s this hard for me to find help, what about women who don’t know something’s wrong or don’t know where to go for help or can’t speak English or can’t advocate for themselves? So, I decided I needed to do something about it.”
Griffen has been named one of three Women of Vision for 2018 by the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Women are selected from the government, business, and nonprofit communities for their commitment and leadership in Arlington. The honorees will be recognized during a ceremony on June 26.
PSVa offers support groups for new moms, facts about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), access to online and in-person resources, connections with volunteers who have experience with PMADs, and―perhaps most importantly―a community that tells women they are not alone.
The first support group started at Virginia Hospital Center, and there are now support groups across Northern Virginia and the commonwealth. Postpartum Support Virginia’s goal is to have a support group in every Virginia hospital that delivers babies. The organization has also created information and resource cards that it shares with healthcare providers and hospitals.
“The time has come that we address maternal mental health issues, postpartum depression, and helping new moms to really be the best that they can be,” Griffen said.
About Postpartum Support Virginia
Arlington County is publishing video interviews with all three Women of Vision honorees. Check the Newsroom for additional videos before the June 26 event.