Feb. 10 musical event, discussion to explore postpartum mental health

January 27, 2016

Feb. 10 musical event, discussion to explore postpartum mental health

Postpartum mental health will take the spotlight Feb. 10 at Regis University in a free special event set to feature a panel discussion on the topic and a related performance of a new string quartet by acclaimed Denver composer Loretta K. Notareschi.

In the autobiographical tradition of the string quartet since the time of Beethoven, Notareschi’s String Quartet OCD sketches the emotional landscape of her experience with postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the year following her daughter’s birth. Postpartum OCD, which affects approximately 3-5 percent of mothers, is characterized by intense fear and anxiety, in response to which mothers develop repetitive coping behaviors.

Although String Quartet OCD dramatizes one person’s personal experience with mental illness, it seeks to give voice to the universal fears of all people about our and our children’s vulnerability in a dangerous world. Performing the string quartet will be Denver’s own Playground Ensemble String Quartet.

The evening also will include an educational panel about postpartum mental health. Panel participants include:

  • Patience Bleskan, co-founder and director of education and programming at The Family Room
  • Mary Anderson Schroeter, a registered psychotherapist and state coordinator with Postpartum Support International
  • Kathleen Krebs, a childbirth educator, mother and postpartum anxiety survivor
  • Dr. Celeste St. John-Larkin, psychiatrist and the Anschutz Chair in Healthy Expectations with Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Kym Thompson, licensed clinical psychologist and staff member with the Healthy Expectations Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, specializing in perinatal mental health and mother-infant therapy
  • Loretta K. Notareschi, composer, mother, postpartum OCD survivor and associate professor of music at Regis University. 

The special event, co-sponsored by the Regis University Music Program and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, will get underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Claver Recital Hall, located near Lowell Boulevard and 52nd Avenue on Regis’ Northwest Denver Campus. Although admission is free, reservations are required and can be made at: www.regis.edu/music/tickets. A limited number of tickets may be available the night of the event. For more information, call 303.458.3576.

A reception with the artists and panel participants will follow this event.