Seleni Institute Meets Challenges

Nitzia Logothetis

Seleni Institute of New York, along with its co-founder and Executive Chairwoman, Nitzia Logothetis, was presented with the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence at the Saturday Forum on February 15, 2014, at the 23rd Annual Leadership 100 Conference, for its innovative work in creating a new modality for the treatment of women and their families. Founded in 2011 by Logothetis with her husband, George M. Logothetis, Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group, the Institute was named for Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon and Eleni, the heroic main character in the book of that name by Nicholas Gage, combining the concepts of emotion and bravery, according to Logothetis.

Logothetis, a trained psychotherapist with a professional background that ranged from work in Latin America, the UK and the USA, spoke of the challenges women face in achieving pregnancy and delivering and raising children. These include accompanying high incidences of infertility, post-partum depression, miscarriage, still births and suicides, along with the underfunding of mental health compared to that of physical diseases. She said the role of Seleni was to destigmatize this “suffering shrouded in silence”, emphasizing that her research and experience had shown that children whose mothers do well, do well themselves and children whose mothers do poorly, do poorly. She went on to describe the three dimensions of Seleni's outreach. The first dimension is the Seleni Institute’s clinic that treats 300 women and their families a week with psychiatry, psychotherapy, parental, sleep and lactation support, as well as a variety of services such as acupuncture. Second is an extensive online presence that offers evidence-based, reasoned and practical wisdom based on modern science and empathy. Third are grants to researches in women’s mental health from both national and international universities.

Andrew Stephanopoulos

In conclusion, she paid tribute to her husband for his personal and professional support and said that Seleni offered women “a shoulder, a comfort, a resource, a community and empathy and healing”, lifting the burden that society places on women and their families, noting that 90% financial support is offered to those in need.

Prior to her address and after an introduction by Connie Cotros, wife of Charles Cortros, outgoing Leadership 100 Chairman, Andrew Stephanopoulos, Clinical Director of the Seleni Institute also addressed the Forum. He stated that the Institute was transforming mental health and wellness treatment describing the phenomenon of stigma as a defense that had to be overcome by connecting women at risk with a community of support. While also speaking of the treatment, online presence and research at Seleni Institute, Stephanopoulos spoke of needed change to the conversation on mental health issues through public information, sound media and the training of physicians, leading to the day when screening for depression and anxiety would be as commonplace as for physical disorders.

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