CPMHC National Committee Member Presents to Canadian Parliamentary Health Research Caucus

Earlier this month, CPMHC National Committee member Dr. Lianne Tomfohr presented to the Canadian Parliamentary Health Research Caucus on her research into pregnancy during the pandemic https://www.pregnancyduringthepandemic.com and her involvement with the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative 💙💚Way to go Lianne!! You can view the presentation here. Lianne begins at 9:00: https://youtu.be/ektvHh9oPEA

Lianne and the team of researchers started studying pregnant women in April. She told the caucus that the rates of depression in pregnancy in Canada right now are 30-35%. That’s 3x higher than they were before the pandemic hit. Rates of anxiety are closer to 40%. This really matters because when a person has untreated mental illness in their pregnancy, there are impacts on their developing baby. Babies of parents with untreated perinatal mental illness have been shown to have structural changes in their brains. It’s important to intervene early. The key things women are saying they need for mental health wellness:

  1. Access to reliable child care
  2. Medical care needs to be consistent
  3. Safe ways to socialize

“Women should be screened for mental health problems in pregnancy. I work with an organization called the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative. We knew before this that women weren’t getting screened and weren’t getting access to timely care. This is much worse now and we need to build our systems back better. We have an opportunity to look at things like telehealth so that people are getting access to timely, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based mental health care.”

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