SOPHROSYNA Institute of Perinatal Mental Health
SOPHROSYNA was founded by licensed psychologist Chrissa Georgiades after the stillbirth of her daughter Sophronia at 33 weeks gestation on May 9, 2012. In her memory the service is not-for-profit and non-fee based.
Maternal mental health, like mental health in general, bears an unfounded stigma in the society of 2018. Yet, 1 in 10 Greek women experience a mental health disorder during pregnancy, commonly anxiety or depression. Whilst 1 in 7 Greek women experience postnatal depression. No one speaks of the emotional and behavioural consequences these treatable mental disorders have on the mother, her baby, their relationship and the family as a unit.
SOPHROSYNA was founded to bridge this gap mainly due to the lack of emotional support available to me after Sophronia’s stillbirth and during my new pregnancy which was 9 months full of worry, anxiety, sadness and fear I might re-live my previous tragic experience.
I knew as a qualified and experienced psychologist, I had to do something because I was certain I was not the only woman in Greece who gave birth to a stillborn baby or who was pregnant without fully recovering from the loss of her previous baby. SOPHROSYNA is a service for all the women and new mothers who experience:
- Pregnancy, stillbirth and neonatal loss
- Infant-attachment difficulties
- Emotional, behavioural and social development issues with infants 0-3 yrs
- Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders
We are stationed on the island of Tinos and we know how difficult it is to access mental health care while weather conditions do not always make it plausible to travel to the mainland. Maternal mental health care is non-existent in regional areas and as a mobile infant-maternal mental health service, SOPHROSYNA is valuable in providing:
- Healthcare for infants and mothers.
- Training in infant-maternal health for psychologists and health professionals who come into contact with pregnant women.
for isolated and regional areas within Greece, namely the Cyclades (Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros).
It is important for us to be able to provide training in infant-maternal mental health to other healthcare professionals such as obstetricians, midwives, social workers, daycare staff, and psychologists who in turn will be able to offer solid mental health care in their local communities, and thus reduce the number of women who suffer alone and in silence.
Our mental healthcare service and qualified team of mental health professionals provides:
- Screening, assessment, diagnoses and treatment
- Psychoeducation (seminars and workshops)
- Psychological therapies (cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy)
- Personal and group psychotherapy (as well as via telephone or internet)
- Training in infant-maternal mental health and pregnancy loss & grief
- Research in maternal mental health
Since our launch on May 24, 2017 in the Cyclades, we have supported over 110 women and new fathers in Tinos and Andros. In February 2018, we have provided our first infant-maternal mental health training in Tinos, and are moving in steady steps across our Cycladic islands of Mykonos, Syros, Naxos, Paros, and Thira, spreading our philosophy that when mother has soundness of mind she is in a better mental state to care for herself, her baby and support her immediate family:
όταν η μαμά είναι καλά, είναι καλά και η υπόλοιπη οικογένειά
We do our best to update our pages in order to make browsing an informative experience. If you have found our website and our infant-maternal mental health service of value, for your self or someone you care about, please share your experience. You help break the silence and destigmatisation of maternal and infant mental health, giving hope to others and influencing them to reach out for support.
Chrissa Georgiades, MSc LP Psychologist and Founder