Mental Health Commission of Canada Recommends National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy


HUGE NEWS!!! The Mental Health Commission of Canada released its Policy Brief today, quoting the CPMHC’s research and calling for the development of a National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy!!!

This is important because the MHCC is mandated by the Government of Canada to support federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as organizations in the implementation of “sound public policy.”

Even more amazing, their paper was reviewed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Here are their recommendations:

Recommendation 18: Conduct an SGBA+ of gaps in perinatal mental health, health, and social services, ensuring long-term follow up, virtual service, and in- person service coverage that works and is culturally appropriate.

Recommendation 19: Utilize gaps in perinatal mental health coverage as a basis for action and for systems and quality improvement on the impending national perinatal mental health strategy.

And here’s where they quote our Health Care Provider Survey:

“At a population level, perinatal and postpartum depression rates in Canada prior to COVID-19 were as high as 23 per cent for new mothers and appeared to be even more common during the first wave of the pandemic. During the pandemic, 95.8 per cent of 438 perinatal health practitioners believe that perinatal mental health services are insufficient, and 87 per cent of those practitioners are not mandated to screen for perinatal mental illness.

Amid intensified calls for a national perinatal mental health strategy, advocates, service users, researchers, and systems planners should look to areas of disrupted or lapsed perinatal mental health services and supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a focus for standardization and system- and quality-improvement initiatives.”


Read the full report HERE

Picture of CPMHC