Emma’s Road to Recovery

Our philosophy at PHD is to welcome and serve anyone who comes through our door. In 2015, we served nearly 600 clients who came to us in the hopes of finding help. Each of their life circumstances differ. Some grappled with serious mental health issues, like postpartum depression and anxiety, while others were dealing with concerns such as how to meet basic needs like food and clothing for their infant or toddler.

Emma’s Road to Recovery
Meet Emma
Six months after having her first child, Emma began to have trouble sleeping, decreased energy, concentration problems, and panic attacks. Like many women suffering from postpartum depression, Emma attempted to self-manage her way through the issues. However, exercise and willpower were not enough. Her thoughts turned more threatening and eventually she considered harming herself. During an emergency room visit, Emma was informed that she was in early pregnancy with her second child. She yearned to be happy that her infant daughter would soon have a sibling, however, her emotional pain kept her from celebrating this exciting news.

She determined that she “couldn’t handle her stress and sadness” on her own. Emma was referred to PHD after admitting to her OB/GYN that she was experiencing both anxiety and depression. “I was sitting in my car after a long day at work and felt the overwhelming feeling of anxiety taking over, to the point that I couldn’t catch my breath. I knew I needed help right away so I dialed PHD’s number,” recalls Emma.

How PHD Helped Emma
“I feel really scared and I don’t know where else to turn,” were the exact words PHD’s
Case Manager heard over the phone when she answered the call. Emma was immediately seen by one of PHD’s Professional Counselors who performed a three-hour risk, anxiety, and depression assessment. The counselor advised Emma that professional counseling was the best and most appropriate treatment option. “PHD was Emma’s lifeline in a time of crisis,” explained Lori, PHD’s Professional Counselor who counseled Emma.

“Clients in crisis are given our highest priority. Our professional counselors see them as soon as possible. We do not require insurance and we offer services on an affordable sliding scale. PHD turns no client away due to an inability to pay. We have no religious component and offer bilingual services. We serve anyone who comes through our door. We are here for the client, to meet her where she is in life; to listen and provide support without judgment and without offering opinions,” says Diane Christell, RN, LCSW, PHD’s Executive Director.

When Emma initially came to PHD, she was hesitant about counseling. She stated, “No one knows or understands how I feel.” “I was not at all surprised at her reaction,” said Lori. “Emma had never been in counseling and to tell a stranger your intimate thoughts is difficult.” As Emma established a rapport with Lori, she grew more comfortable and cooperated in sessions. Lori worked hand-in-hand with the treatment provided by Emma’s primary care physician. Emma became very resourceful, joined PHD support groups, and even educated her family about depression and anxiety.

Emma worked hard in her sessions to manage her feelings. PHD helped her become aware of her triggers and how to quickly use her coping mechanisms to relax herself. “I am grateful to PHD for supporting me and helping me find the light at the end of the depression tunnel,” says Emma.

“I believe that the most telling stories of our success lie in the heart-warming smiles of our clients, like Emma, who I pass in the hallway everyday and whom we have guided safely through postpartum depression or anxiety,” says Lori.

How You Can Help Us Continue to Make a Difference
PHD remains steadfast in our 45-year commitment to the maternal mental health and well-being of women, our identified client. Through your continued support, you are instrumental to our ability to continue to realize our vision as “a compassionate community where dignity is preserved, hope is restored, and lives are empowered – one woman, one child, one family at a time.”

PHD would not be able to open its doors each day without the support YOU provide.

Most importantly, without YOUR support, we would not have addressed the individual needs of nearly 600 clients annually, restoring their hope, empowering them through counseling and case management, and helping deliver them to a better state of mind.

It is with the utmost respect and sincerity that we say THANK YOU on behalf of PHD. Thank you for helping us to continue to make a difference in so many lives, and thank you in advance for your continued generosity as the demand for the services we provide as a counseling center for maternal mental health and well-being continues to grow.


Your gift TODAY will help us provide support and treatment to those in need through PHD’s
Professional Counseling, Case Management and Baby & Maternity Closet services.

You can expedite your gift by donating on-line at www.sphd.org/donate

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