This experience encouraged me to learn more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and find ways I can help other families through this difficult (but amazing) time of life. Through Postpartum Support International and 2020Mom I recently participated in Maternal Mental Health training and I completed additional course on Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Birth Trauma, Infertility, and Third Party Reproduction. I am a member of Postpartum Support International, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine. In addition, I am a 2020MOM Speaking Ambassador which encourages me to follow my passion of advocating for more supports for moms and educating the community about the challenges families face.
I was born and raised in Colorado where I spent time enjoying the mountains and the outdoors. Before jumping into my career as a social worker, I spent 5 years traveling around the world working as a dive instructor in developing countries (US Virgin Islands, Mexico, Honduras, Curacao, Tanzania, Mozambique, Thailand, Philippines). Working in different countries taught me about how to work with many diverse cultures and helped me to learn about how people cope with a variety of life circumstances. During my Master’s in Social Work at Hawaii Pacific University I learned about the diverse communities here on Oahu and a generalist approach to providing therapy. My experience during this time varied: I worked with adjudicated adolescents and adults with serious mental illness. My practicum hours were spent with women in substance abuse treatment and their new babies. Following school, I worked for 3 years in Early Intervention, supporting families with children age birth to 3 years old with a developmental delay or disability. Many of the families I have worked with have been military and I continue to enjoy supporting this community.
Currently, I spend my time working with moms through Sunshine Therapy as the owner and therapist, and part time as the Project Coordinator for the Always Reading Program with Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream Foundation. With the Always Reading program we work in 7 of the local elementary schools to inspire underserved children to reach for their dreams through innovative reading programs and by advancing the cause of early childhood literacy. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family anywhere outdoors and especially at the beach.