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Meet Melody Martinez


Melody Martinez, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Hi! I’m Melody Martinez, a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC), dedicated to providing compassionate care across the lifespan. Proudly rooted in Tucson, Arizona, my journey from educator to nurse practitioner has been enriched by a diverse range of experiences, each contributing to my holistic approach to mental health care.

My professional journey began with a bachelors degree in education from the University of Arizona, where I specialized in family studies and human development. This foundational education instilled in me a deep understanding of the complexities of human behavior and relationships. Driven by a passion for
healthcare and inspired by the profound impact of supporting individuals across various life stages and backgrounds, I transitioned into the field of nursing. After earning my Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Arizona, I dedicated several years to providing specialized care to women and infants, honing my skills in nurturing and supporting the unique needs of this population. Motivated by a desire to expand my scope of practice and make a broader impact on mental health care, I pursued advanced training as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Today, at Paperflower Psychiatry I blend my diverse background in education, nursing, and perinatal care to offer holistic, evidence-based mental health care to individuals seeking support for their mental health concerns. Believing in the benefits of medication, I also incorporate alternative and complementary treatments to address concerns, individualizing each patient's care. My approach is science-backed and empathetically driven. I enjoy including therapy techniques in my sessions when appropriate, to provide comprehensive and personalized care. As a mother of two, I understand the importance of flexibility in scheduling appointments, and I am happy to offer weekend, early morning and evening availability both in person at our new Tucson location and via tele-health sessions.
Beyond my professional pursuits, I find joy in exploring new cultures and perspectives through travel.

Having lived abroad in various countries, I've cultivated a deep appreciation for diversity and the richness of human experience. My family, which includes my two adventurous sons, holds a special place in my heart. We bond and create enduring memories during our camping trips in the great outdoors. Their unwavering love and support inspire me to make a positive impact in the lives of others, both within my practice and beyond. I am honored to be a part of your healing journey and look forward to supporting you every step of theway.


Favorite superhero:  I am not a huge superhero buff but I think I would say Batman, even though it might seem really mainstream. I just feel like despite not possessing superhuman abilities, his dedication to justice and his unwavering commitment to protecting his city make him a true hero. His resilience and determination to overcome his own darkness and trauma, channeling it into a force for good is inspiring. I think we can see it as a reminder that even in our darkest moments, we can find the courage to make a difference in the world. Plus, the movies are really cinematically pleasing! The complex and captivating villains add such a depth to his story.

Favorite movie: This is such a difficult question because my first instinct is to write a top 10 list. If I had to choose a favorite based on how many times I have watched it, it would probably be Spirited Away because it's an absolute feast for the senses! The animation is stunning, and the food looks absolutely delicious—I mean, who wouldn't want to taste those mouthwatering dishes from the spirit world? Plus, I'm a huge fan of all of Hayao Miyazaki's films and accompanying soundtracks. Beyond the scrumptious visuals, the story of growth and the healing powers of love are so heartwarming. I love the transformation from a scared little girl to a confident hero while navigating the whimsical and sometimes downright bizarre world of spirits. 

Favorite bands/singer/music: Music is all about the feelings it creates, so I just go with the flow and let the music take me on a journey through memories and emotions. My taste in music is a bit of a mishmash, but that's what makes it so special! I can always enjoy Indie music from bands like The Strokes, The Killers, and Modest Mouse. But then there is the Dixie Chicks, whose music takes me back to those carefree days of childhood, riding in the car with my mom, her hair blowing in the wind as we sang along with the same CD over and over again. Fleetwood Mac holds a special place in my heart as my ultimate favorite band and soundtrack to my soul. Whenever karaoke is on the table I will be there belting out "Gold Dust Women" with my friends, laughing and singing our hearts out. And when it's time to tackle chores around the house, you can bet I've got the Bluey soundtrack blasting, with my little one dancing around and making a mess behind me. Music is about the memories they bring back and the moments they create, weaving through the fabric of my life and adding color to every day.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? If I could have any superpower, I would choose the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level, much like Atom Eve from the comic series "Invincible." With this power, I could reshape the world around me, transforming objects, creating life-saving medicines, or even altering the fabric of reality itself. The ability to manipulate atoms would give me unparalleled control over the physical universe, allowing me to solve problems, heal wounds, and bring about positive change on a grand scale. It's a power limited only by imagination and ethical considerations, making it both awe-inspiring and profoundly impactful.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?  

1. To travel a peaceful world with my loved ones, exploring new cultures, tasting exotic foods, and making unforgettable memories together. 

2. To have the ability to speak every language fluently, allowing me to connect with people from all walks of life and forge meaningful relationships wherever I go.

3. To foster a world where every child grows up in a nurturing and supportive environment, free from trauma and adversity; feeling loved, valued, and empowered to chase their dreams.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself:  One fun fact about me is that I'm passionate about travel and adventure and I find solace in nature. One of the most memorable experiences I've had was attending the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday celebration in India. Another unforgettable journey I embarked on was hitchhiking from Tanzania to Namibia with nothing but a backpack and a tent. It was a remarkable adventure filled with unforgettable sights, fascinating encounters, and a profound sense of freedom! My favorite quote from the trip is, “you can’t camp here, the lions will carry you away in the night.”

Tell us about your pets:  We welcomed a rescue dog into our family named Juneau. He's been such a blessing and has quickly become a beloved member of our household. Juneau is incredibly sweet and has a gentle disposition, making him the perfect companion for our family, especially with my two young sons. He's always ready for playtime or cuddles, and his loving nature brings so much joy into our lives. We had a dog years ago named Piper but due to her trauma history she needed constant companionship and we could not have two dogs at the time so she went to live with my close friend. I still see her often and she spends every other weekend with Juneau. I am so happy they get to be friends!

What are you most passionate about in the mental health field?  My passion for perinatal mental health runs deep. Through personal experiences with postpartum depression and anxiety, combined with years of working as an antepartum and postpartum nurse, I've gained invaluable insights into the unique challenges of pregnancy and postpartum. I firmly believe that everyone deserves support during this journey, whether they're basking in the joys of motherhood or grappling with anxiety and depression. I'm committed to destigmatizing mental health conversations in the perinatal period and advocating for accessible support services. This cause is close to my heart, and I'm dedicated to making a positive impact for individuals and families. Let's banish mom guilt and shaming once and for all!

What is your philosophy on using medication to treat mental health? Are medications lifelong?  Medication can be a valuable tool in managing mental health conditions, but it's not the only solution. I believe in a holistic approach that combines medication with therapy, lifestyle changes, and social support. Maybe medication is right for you or maybe you would benefit from forest bathing or wilderness therapy or acupuncture. There are many paths, lets figure out which one is right for you. Whether medication is lifelong depends on the individual and their unique circumstances.

What are your thoughts about treating adult ADHD?  I am a big believer on patient-centered care. Treating adult ADHD requires a multifaceted approach that may include therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. It's important to tailor treatment to the individual's needs and goals, focusing on enhancing their ability to manage symptoms and thrive in their daily lives.

If a patient is nervous about an evaluation, especially when talking about tough things like trauma or sexual abuse, what would you want them to know? I want patients to know that it's okay to feel nervous or apprehensive about discussing tough topics like trauma or abuse and that they can set the pace that they feel comfortable with. Our sessions are a safe and non-judgmental space where they can express themselves openly, and I'm here to support and guide them through the process with compassion and empathy. 

How do you feel about medical marijuana?   I believe in promoting safe and responsible marijuana use. When used appropriately, it can offer therapeutic benefits for conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. However, it's important to be mindful of potential risks and to educate oneself on dosage, frequency, and potential interactions with other substances. Ultimately, informed and responsible usage is key to maximizing the benefits while minimizing potential harms.

What are your thoughts about treating adult ADHD?  This is one of my favorite things to treat. ADHD is exhausting. I think often people just adapt and don’t realize how exhausting ADHD is in everyday life. Also ADHD can often present as anxiety or depression and we should spend lots of time exploring the causes of the specific symptoms you are experiencing.

Tell us your thoughts about the current state of the foster care system.   I have seen firsthand both the strengths and shortcomings of the foster system. While there are dedicated individuals working tirelessly to support foster youth, there's a clear need for improvement, particularly in ensuring a smoother transition into adulthood with adequate support and resources. 

Do you have any personal experiences regarding mental health you are opening to sharing?  It's been quite the journey to reach where I am today. Childhood traumas cast a long shadow, leading to mental health struggles in adulthood. Years in the foster system, being forcibly separated from loved ones, and experiencing an untraditional childhood, left me with scars that took years to heal. But with the support of my family and by focusing on my mental health rather than ignoring it, I am healing. These experiences fueled my passion to ensure that no young person faces the same challenges alone. Adolescence can be a daunting journey, and I'm determined to make sure that every young person knows they're not alone in their struggles. Whether it's through mentoring, advocacy, or simply lending an ear, I want to create a safe space where they feel seen, heard, and supported. Helping them find their strength, their voice, and the resources they need is not just a mission—it's my calling.

What are other things you feel could be beneficial to improve mental health other than
 I am a big believer in natures almost magical ability to heal and restore! Spending time outdoors can offer a sense of peace and tranquility that can alleviate stress and improve mood. Practices such as therapy, mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and social connection also play important roles in promoting mental well-being. I believe it is essential to address mental health from a holistic perspective that considers the various factors influencing an individual's experience.

Tell us about the intersection between your experience in Women and Infant care and/or teaching + mental health?  My experience in both teaching and women and infant care has given me a unique perspective on the intersection of education and mental health. As a former teacher for 8 years, I've honed my skills in communicating with children in a comfortable and supportive manner. My background in education, with a focus on family studies and human development, has equipped me with valuable insights into the developmental needs of children and families. Transitioning to a role as an antepartum and postpartum nurse, I found that my teaching experience allowed me to better prepare individuals for the profound changes of parenthood. I understand the importance of providing comprehensive support and education to expectant and new parents, not only in terms of physical health but also in addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. My ability to advocate for children and families, coupled with my knowledge of child development and maternal health, allows me to approach mental health issues in a holistic and empathetic manner. I believe in the power of education, communication, and support in promoting mental well-being for individuals and families throughout the perinatal and early childhood stages.

Paperflower Psychiatry

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