The Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative, a non-profit mental health advocacy organization, says that in normal times, roughly 20 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men suffer from mental health issues immediately before and after birth — but that figure has doubled during the pandemic.
NDP health critic Don Davies has written to Health Minister Patty Hajdu asking her to develop a perinatal mental health strategy that would provide care to women over the period from conception to a year after a child is born.
“Canada does not have a comprehensive national strategy, mandate or directive to guide how health care practitioners should assess, diagnosis, treat or provide follow-up to individuals suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders,” Davies said in the letter, being released publicly today.
The CPMHC held a Virtual Symposium along with the Ludmer Center. CPMHC Co-Founders, Jaime Charlebois and Patricia Tomasi were interviewed by Barrie Today about World Maternal Mental Health Day, how they met and formed the CPMHC, and the symposium:
TVO The Agenda Host Nam Kiwanuka wrote a column and mentioned the survey and National Report done by the CPMHC and our mission for a National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy: “This past Thursday, the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative released a report that found that “95.8% of health care practitioners believe that perinatal mental health services are insufficient in Canada” and that when people were screened and needed support, 42 per cent had to wait for more than two months to access help. If you’re having a crisis, two months is a very long time to wait. If you’re not concerned about the mothers, what about the impact on the children?..There is reason to be optimistic. This past Wednesday, a motion was unanimously carried by the House to recognize the first Wednesday of May as World Maternal Health Day and for Canada to develop a national perinatal mental-health strategy. Once again, time will tell. Unfortunately for many families, time has already been wasted.”
CPMHC Co-Founder, Patricia is interviewed by Host Kelly Cutrara on AM640 Radio following the defeat of Maternal Mental Health Bill 176 brought forward by Ontario MPP Bhutila Karpoche:
🎙Thank you Amanda Gurman for having us on your amazing Honest As A Mother podcast! Listen as co-founders Jaime and Patricia talk about the work our phenomenal committees are doing to move closer towards a national perinatal mental health strategy. 💚💙 We share a bit about how we met and our own perinatal stories too.
“There is no question in my mind that we need to a national strategy to support perinatal mental health for new families, much like we need a worldwide strategy to combat negative repercussions from the pandemic and the public health measures put in place to control the pandemic. But together, I have complete confidence we can do it. It’s disappointing that the House of Commons didn’t take up the call to develop and implement a national strategy for perinatal mental health. But I belong to a group called the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative and we are not going to let this set back stop us. We, and our formidable founders, Jaime Charlebois and Patricia Tomasi, are determined to continue to advocate for and promote the health of new families in Canada.”
Thanks goes out to U of C psychology associate professor Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen and CPMHC National Committee member for continuing to spread our message 👇🏽
“The new study underlines the need for Canada to adopt a national strategy for perinatal mental health to support women in the period before and after they give birth, Tomfohr-Madsen said. Much like existing strategies in Great Britain or Australia, she says it would introduce universal mental health screening for pregnant women and more timely access to treatment.”
“The time is now for the development of a national perinatal and family mental health strategy.”
👉🎙The CPMHC did six separate live interviews for CBC radio on World Maternal Mental Health Day, May 6th, 2020 including Metro Morning in Toronto, Ontario Morning in Barrie, Peterborough, and Kingston, The Morning Edition in Kitchener, Superior Morning in Thunder Bay, Morning North in Sudbury, and London Morning! Take a listen to our Ontario Morning interview with Wei Chen:
Listen to SFP 015 | On Perinatal Mental Health – How Depression and Anxiety Can Steal Away The Joy of Motherhood; How Fathers Also Struggle With Mental Health in The Perinatal Period; And How Perinatal Mental Health Is About So Much More Than Postpartum Depression from Smart Family Podcast on Apple Podcasts. https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/smart-family-podcast/id1497316466#episodeGuid=7d21411f-596d-4fed-b8c4-95bb97ba7ddf