“It takes a mother to educate a village,” told us Nitzia Logothetis during our interview at Seleni Institute, but it seems that it also takes a Greek-Panamanian young mother of two to create the first center for mothers – and mothers to be – in the USA.
Nitzia Logothetis, whose father is Greek and mother is Panamanian, together with her husband George Logothetis, founded Seleni Institute, a non profit-organization aimed at transforming mental health and wellness for women.
Seleni, based at a state-of-the-art facility in New York City, was created to better address the unique mental health needs of women and their families through funding research, raising and providing awareness and providing clinical care.
Nitzia Logothetis, a psychotherapist herself, worked extensively in developing countries offering her services voluntarily before she started working on the project. It took three years of hard work, during which Nitzia gave birth to her second son, for Seleni to be established. The Institute opened its doors on Monday May 6th, and today Seleni has the capacity to help up to 300 women per week through individual psychotherapy, workshops, and support groups according to their needs.
“I had noticed that women do not speak often out loud about their mental health problems and emotions and I hope we can change that, ” says Seleni’s Executive Chairwoman, confirming the fact that our busy societies and daily routines often make us downplay the importance of our mental health.
Watch our interview with Nitzia Logothetis on Seleni, common issues that young mothers face, and also serious cases of still-birth, child loss and post-partum depression:
The name Seleni honors and supports the courage it takes to seek help. “We bring together two extraordinary women: Selene, goddess of the moon, long associated with women, emotions, and serenity, and Eleni, a mother who bravely fought for her children’s escape to America.”
The main focus of the clinic is to provide support and therapy for women who are suffering from recurrent miscarriages, still-birth and child loss, post-partum depression, post-partum anxiety and depression related to infertility, amongst others. The Institute also has a website that provides extensive practical wisdom online at Seleni.org.
Seleni aims to alleviate much suffering and the team that has been put together includes world class experts and leaders in their field, many of them fellow Greek-Americans.
Besides founding Seleni, Nitzia Logothetis’ philanthropic experience includes a diverse group of nonprofit organizations.
She holds a psychology degree from Brown University, an MSc in child development from the University of London and a MA in counseling for mental health and wellness from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Nitzia Logothetis lives in Manhattan with her husband George and their two sons.