Join our New Directory
The CPMHC is creating a comprehensive Directory of Perinatal Mental Health Providers and Services for all of Canada. Help us populate it! This includes public or private individuals and organizations providing perinatal mental health focused therapy and/or support groups.
here’s what you can do to get help in the meantime:
If you think you may have a maternal mental illness, or if you’re just feeling off and not sure what’s happening to you, don’t keep your feelings to yourself. Tell someone you trust like your partner or a friend. Since universal screening doesn’t exist currently, (but kudos to the health care providers who are doing it anyway!) the onus is on moms to notice that something doesn’t feel right and when you’re a new mother dealing with sleepless nights and caring for a new baby, it’s hard to distinguish whether you’re suffering from a maternal mental illness or just adjusting to new motherhood. There is a difference and while both situations deserve attention and help, one is a result of a physical, biological illness that requires medical attention and treatment.
While your partner or your friend may be amazingly supportive and give you all kinds of advice, they are not medical professionals so the next thing to do is to make an appointment to see your family doctor / primary health care provider.
Hopefully, they will properly assess you, perhaps using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, which, take note, doesn’t properly address postpartum anxiety which is more prevalent than postpartum depression. If you’re diagnosed with a maternal mental illness such as postpartum depression or anxiety, you may be prescribed medication and/or therapy. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist that specializes in maternal mental health.
There may be a wait list and they may ask if you can afford to pay for a private psychotherapist.
Some hospitals have perinatal mental health programs your doctor can refer you to but these are mostly found in urban areas, however, many of them have virtual supports set up.
** And if your health care provider isn’t taking you seriously, switch to another one! **
If there’s a perinatal mental health support group in your area or online, join it! Make sure to join CPMHC Co-founder, Patricia Tomasi’s 24/7 Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Facebook Support Group with thousands of women from around the world experiencing varying degrees of maternal mental illness. Patricia started the group back when she was diagnosed and couldn’t find anyone to talk to at 3 am. It’s a private, closed group with no judgment and no advertising or selling whatsoever.