PRESS ADVISORY: Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC, Announced as Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award Winner for 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PRESS ADVISORY
CONTACT: Elise Blasingame, Executive Director, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia: firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-205-6680
October 23, 2019 – On Monday, October 28, 2019, Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC will be honored with the Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award at the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) Annual Meeting and Conference held at the Embassy Suites in Savannah, GA.
The Wetzel Contiuum Award recognizes a volunteer or health professional who contributes to the health and well being of Georgia’s families by being a positive change agent in the public arena of advocacy and policy. This award is in memory of Carolyn Wetzel, a long-time HMHBGA member, friend, and dedicated public health advocate for mothers and babies.
O’Brien has been in private practice in Georgia since 2004. In addition to being a licensed professional counselor, she is also a consultant, speaker, yogi and educator who specializes in maternal mental health, early childhood mental health, parenting concerns, complex trauma, and relationships problems. Elizabeth is also widely respected as a “therapist’s therapist,” providing support for other “helpers” in our community.
Elizabeth has a passion for educating other professionals about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety disorders, and is a national trainer on the topic. She also serves as a volunteer coordinator with Postpartum Support International (PSI), and she is currently Board President of the Georgia Chapter of PSI.
“The Wetzel Award is meant for providers who go above and beyond to use their direct service abilities and experience to make larger-scale policy and program impact for Georgia’s families,” explained Elise Blasingame, executive director for HMHBGA.
“I cannot think of a more deserving individual for the 2019 Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award than Elizabeth O’Brien,” continued Blasingame. “She has worked in practice, serving families directly as they battle the difficulties of postpartum depression, anxiety and other perinatal mental health challenges. She then applied her expertise and energy to forming a diverse Board to lead Georgia in advancing public prioritization of these debilitating and prevalent disorders. Our state is becoming a safer and more supportive place for pregnant and postpartum women thanks to her advocacy.”
- Under O’Brien’s leadership, PSIGA raised the most funds for maternal mental health of all PSI chapters in the world in 2018.
- PSIGA also completed a statewide strategic plan to advance maternal mental health by organizing focus groups with key stakeholders throughout Georgia in 2017-2018.
- Importantly, PSIGA worked alongside HMHBGA in 2018-2019 to secure $1.02 million in the State Budget for the very first state-agency led maternal mental health program which is housed at the Georgia Department of Public Health.
“I am very humbled and grateful to receive the Carolyn Wetzel Continuum Award, thank you,” said O’Brien. “I have been fortunate to work with a dedicated team who are all working hard to decrease stigma around Perinatal Mental Health in our state, increase resources for all mothers and to train providers who can screen all mothers for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Georgia.”
O’Brien was nominated by several of her colleagues at the Georgia Chapter of PSI.
“To me, Elizabeth is a living example of what it looks like to wholeheartedly support a cause you feel passionate about,” shared PSIGA Board Member and fellow LPC, Melissa Keane. “Not only does she dedicate her professional work to supporting the wellness of mothers and families, she also lives and breathes this in all other areas of her life – including her friendships, hobbies, and free time spent volunteering in this capacity. Elizabeth is a natural and fearless leader for others who wish to join this cause.”
HMHBGA congratulates Elizabeth on the great success she has found with PSIGA and in her work supporting Georgia families every day to get the resources and care they need.