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.
CPMHC National Committee member Dr. Vi Nguyen is featured in this Montreal Gazette article.
Findings of a survey of 435 health and social service practitioners unveiled at a recent symposium of the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative Nguyen helped to plan showed nearly all believe a national perinatal mental health strategy is needed to address gaps in screening and treatment.
“For me, part of being a psychiatrist includes this advocacy component,” she said.