Women’s Health SIG

Welcome to the ACLP Women’s Health SIG!

Goals & ActivitiesNewsResourcesJoin UsContact Us
Presentations (on another page)

The Women’s Health SIG provides a place for ACLP members and others involved in both women’s mental health and consultation-liaison psychiatry to come together to promote research, clinical care, and education. We share clinical information, we share ideas, we collaborate, we network. The SIG provides:

The Women’s Health SIG meets every year at the ACLP annual meeting. We urge all professionals in the field of C-L psychiatry interested in women’s health to attend our SIG meetings and presentations at the meeting, and we welcome new members and their participation in our discussions.


Deepika Sundararaj, MD Deepika Sundararaj, MD

Priya Gopalan, co-chair of the Womens Health SIG Priya Gopalan, MD

Goals & Activities of the SIG

Integrating women’s mental health and perinatal psychiatry into the area of psychosomatic medicine was the key goal when the SIG was first formed in 2011. Until then, the only venue for women’s mental health and psychiatry were specific women’s health conferences and groups. With the founding of the Women’s’ Health SIG, a place was created for ACLP members and others who focus on women’s’ mental health to come together, to promote collaboration in program development, research, scholarly work, education, and clinical care. The goals of the SIG have expanded to:


SIG and Member News

bullet Meetings

The ACLP 2018 Annual Meeting was held Tuesday (pre-conference) through Saturday, November 13-17, 2018, in Orlando, Florida. At that meeting:

  • The Women’s Health SIG gathered in-person on Thursday morning of the conference. Our SIG meetings typically include discussions of potential topics for presentation at future annual meetings, and current collaborative endeavors among SIG members.

    View the minutes of our 2018 meeting [PDF].

  • On Wednesday afternoon, members of the SIG presented the half-day skills course Updates in Perinatal Psychiatry: Negotiating Clinical Challenges in a Rapidly Evolving Field.
  • On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, six general sessions and eight posters on women’s mental health issues were presented by SIG members.
2018 Dorfman Best Case Report
Ted Stern, MD, FACLP, editor-in-chief of Psychosomatics, presented the 2018 Dorfman Best Case Report award to authors Christina Wichman, DO, FACLP (center), and Rebecca Bauer, MD.

bullet Awards



For current and past presentations by the SIG and SIG members, see Presentations on a separate page.

bullet On the ACLP website

bullet Other helpful sites

  • Mother to Baby
    MotherToBaby, a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, is dedicated to providing evidence-based information to mothers, health care professionals, and the general public about medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Talk directly to the experts behind the most up-to-date research!
  • MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health
    This website provides a range of current information including discussion of new research findings in women’s mental health and how such investigations inform day-to-day clinical practice. Despite the growing number of studies being conducted in women’s health, the clinical implications of such work are frequently controversial, leaving patients with questions regarding the most appropriate path to follow. Providing these resources to patients and their doctors so that individual clinical decisions can be made in a thoughtful and collaborative fashion dovetails with the mission of our Center.
  • Postpartum Support International
    PSI [Postpartum Support International] brings together families, communities, and professionals working to support families during pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and the postpartum period
  • Lactmed
    The LactMed® database contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. All data are derived from the scientific literature and fully referenced. A peer review panel reviews the data to assure scientific validity and currency.
  • Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Program (MCPAP) for Moms
    The goal of MCPAP is to improve access to treatment for children with behavioral health needs and their families by making child psychiatry services accessible to primary care providers across Massachusetts.


bullet Articles published based on SIG collaborative work

  • Lusskin SI, Khan SJ, Ernst C, Habib S, Fersh ME, Albertini ES. Pharmacotherapy for perinatal depression. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2018 Mar 20 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Shenai N, Shulman J, Gopalan P, Cheng E, Cerimele JM. Fetal outcomes in intentional over-the-counter medication overdoses in pregnancy. Psychosomatics 2017 Nov 24 [Epub ahead of print]
  • McLafferty LP, Becker M, Dresner, M, Meltzer-Brody S, Gopalan P, Glance J, Victor GS, Mittal L, Marshalek P, Lander L, Worley LL. Guidelines for the management of pregnant women with substance use disorders. Psychosomatics 2016; 57(2):115-30
  • Mittal L, Wichman C, Byatt N. Bipolar Disorder in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: A Practical Guide for the General Psychiatrist. Psychiatr Ann 2015; 45(8):411-416

bullet SIG-UPs: Special Interest Group Updates as Letters to the Editor in Psychosomatics

In the May-June 2016 issue of Psychosomatics, SIG members Priya Gopalan, MD, and Pierre Azzam, MD, wrote a Letter to the Editor encouraging ACLP SIGs to use the journal’s Letters to the Editor feature to provide practical updates in research, policy, and clinical practice to the at-large readership of Psychosomatics. In subsequent issues, the Women’s Health SIG has written three letters, and the ACLP Neuropsychiatry SIG has accepted the idea and has written one letter so far. Listed below are Gopalan and Azzam’s initial letter and the three subsequent WMH letters.

  • Gopalan P, Azzam P. Special Interest Groups-Sponsored Updates in Psychosomatics (SIG-UPs): Introduction and Call to Submission. Psychosomatics 2016; 57(3):335-336
  • Dresner N, Sachdeva J. Special Interest Group-Sponsored Update in Psychosomatics: Food and Drug Administration Revises Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling. Psychosomatics 2016; 57(4):439-440
  • Shenai N, Glance J, Marshalek P. Special Interest Groups —Updates in Psychosomatics (SIG-Ups): Alcohol Use Disorders in Women. Psychosomatics 2017; 58(1):91-92 [The Neuropsychiatry SIG’s letter is also in this issue on pages 90-91.]
  • Spada M, Gopalan P, Wichman C. Special Interest Groups-Sponsored Updates in Psychosomatics (SIG-Ups): Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Mental Health. Psychosomatics 2017; 58(3):328-329

bulletPsychiatric Times

Recent Psychiatric Times articles authored by SIG members are below. Currently in progress is another article, “Neuroendocrine Dysregulation in the PCOS, PMDD, and Perimenopause,” being lead by Dr. Janna Gordon-Elliott.

  • Dresner N, Byatt N, Gopalan P, Miller LJ, Sachdeva J, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine: Psychiatric care of peripartum women. Psychiatr Times, December 23, 2015
  • Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, St. Victor G, Wichman CL, Malakkla N: Speaking up: sexual harassment in the medical setting. Psychiatr Times, June 26, 2017


The Women’s Health SIG lunch table at the annual meeting offers informal networking with new and old colleagues.

Join Us

We welcome professionals focused on women’s mental health—from medical students to seasoned clinicians and researchers—to join our SIG and participate in our listserv discussions and in-person meetings, to collaborate on projects and publications, to connect with others interested in this special field, and to receive and provide support to fellow members.

To join the SIG, ACLP members need only edit their ACLP member profile. Non-members need to send an email to the Academy executive office. For details, see How to Join a SIG.

We encourage all of our SIG members to also become a member of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. The Academy is an organization that serves as an inspiration, a chance for networking, and a place to learn. Academy membership has many other advantages including a subscription to the Academy’s journal, Psychosomatics. For information about becoming an ACLP member, please see Join ACLP

Contact Us

For questions related to the WMH SIG, please email us at:


See also 2014-2018 Presentations by SIG Members