Update: Due to the calling of the federal election in August 2021, Bill C-306 has unfortunately died, however, we have succeeded in bringing attention and awareness to the House of Commons on the need for a National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy. Stay tuned to the campaigns of each party leader as they release their platforms… We’ll be looking to see if they include perinatal mental health! Read our submission to each party in advance of the federal election: https://cpmhc.ca/itstime/
On June 3rd, 2021, Vancouver-Kingsway NDP MP and Health Critic, Don Davies introduced his Private Member’s Bill: THE NATIONAL PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY ACT in the House of Commons.
The Bill was seconded by MP Heather McPherson who has been a strong supporter of our efforts for a national strategy.
- Bill C-306 An Act respecting the development of a national perinatal mental health strategy was introduced and passed First Reading.
- Here’s the video of MP Don Davies, the NDP Health Critic, introducing the Bill: https://www.youtube.com/embed/oh0ncJuZypM?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
- Here’s the video of the Press Conference that followed on June 4th: https://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/covid-19-canada-responds/episodes/66388495
- We started a Write Your MP campaign that resulted in over 1200 letters sent to MPs across Canada.
- MP Davies also sent a letter to Health Minister Patty Hajdu. Read the letter here:
Here is what BILL C-306 ~ An Act respecting the development of a national perinatal mental health strategy was calling for:
The strategy must include measures to:
(a) provide universal access to perinatal mental health screening during pregnancy and the postpartum period;
(b) ensure timely access to specialist perinatal mental health care services and treatments during pregnancy and the postpartum period;
(c) expand the availability of specialist perinatal mental health community care;
(d) increase public and professional awareness of the frequency, impact and treatment of perinatal mental health disorders;
(e) improve training for health care professionals with respect to perinatal mental health;
(f) ensure access to culturally relevant perinatal mental health care services and treatment options;
(g) ensure access to gender-affirming and inclusive perinatal mental health care services and treatment options;
(h) support the provision of trauma-informed care in the perinatal period;
(i) address the social determinants of perinatal mental health;
(j) reduce barriers to accessing perinatal mental health services;
(k) combat stigma with respect to perinatal mental health; and
(l) promote research on perinatal mental health in Canada.
Reports to Parliament
Tabling of national strategy
Within one year after the day on which this Act comes into force, the Minister must prepare a report setting out the national strategy and cause it to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after it is completed.
The Minister must publish the report on the website of the Department of Health within 10 days after it has been tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
Within two years after the report referred to in section 4 has been tabled in both Houses of Parliament, and every five years after that, the Minister must, in consultation with the parties referred to in subsection 3(2), prepare a report on the effectiveness of the national strategy that sets out the Minister’s conclusions and recommendations, and cause the report to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after it is completed.