Dr. Angela Bowen is a Registered Nurse and trained midwife, with a PhD in Community Health and Epidemiology, with a focus on socially vulnerable, including Aboriginal mothers. She has extensive clinical, educational, and administrative experience in Obstetrics and Mental Health. She led the team that developed the MotherFirst Mental Health Strategy in Saskatchewan in 2010 that recommended a three-pronged approach to deal with maternal mental health, including education, screening, and treatment.
Sara Beckel is a passionate perinatal health advocate, entrepreneur, PPD survivor and mother of two who proudly calls Regina home. After the birth of her second daughter, Sara experienced postpartum depression and it has since fueled her passion to improve maternal wellness for new mothers in Regina and the surrounding area by creating easier access to treatment and support. Even as a labour doula, she was unaware of the true depth of the illness and how it can impact the entire family unit until she walked down the path herself. That dark time was excruciating yet powerful. Her battle with postpartum depression has given her the lived experience she needs to truly understand what women are going through and she continues to work towards ensuring mothers no longer suffer in silence like she did. Sara uses her lived experience with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders to continue raising awareness and reduce the stigma that surrounds the illness. Over the past 10 years, she has been working as a labour doula and building her practice at Lilium Health and has attended over 100 births in the Queen City. She is proud to be recognized as Regina’s “Best Doula” through Prairie Dog Magazines annual campaign three years running, and was named as a 2019 CBC Future 40 Recipient. Sara has worked tirelessly in raising awareness and creating sustainable pathways to treatment for those experiencing or at risk for developing a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder. In the spring of 2020, she connected with the Regina Early Learning Centre and together they launched a new initiative called the Regina Perinatal Health Network (RPHN). The Regina Perinatal Health Network now offers free perinatal support within the community! They assist birthing people in developing clear pathways to treatment when it comes to perinatal mental health with a strong sense of community surrounding them. Sara is proud to be a part of the work happening at the CPMHC and is happy to support improving perinatal mental health across the country!
My name is Megan and my perinatal journey started seven years ago while I was pregnant with my first daughter. I had no idea what was going on inside of me. Nobody talked about it, nobody thought it was something I needed help with and I hid it as much as I possibly could. This led me to experience severe suicidal thoughts and extreme mental breakdowns after the birth of my first daughter. I knew something was wrong but had no clue where to turn. At this point I began to try to understand the world of pre and postpartum seasons of my life. Fast forward to three years ago when I was pregnant with my second daughter and I began to have extreme panic attacks and depressive moods. I thankfully knew at this point that I needed help and made sure to advocate for myself that I couldn’t do this on my own. Having grown as a mother and a woman I was now better equipped with the knowledge to be assertive with what I knew I needed for myself, my life and the ones around me that were also affected by what I was going through. I now focus on never shying away from the realities of depression and anxiety and the dire and severe situations that pregnancy and post birth can have on families.
Kayla Bell is a Registered Nurse on a Neurology and neuro-surgery unit at the Royal University Hospital and the co founder of the non-profit Mother May I in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is passionate about her profession and helping others. Mother May I is dedicated to spreading awareness and stories about postpartum, and raises funds to support maternal mental health initiatives within the community. Kayla is a wife to her amazing husband Bryce, and mother to her sweet boy Jackson who are her driving force to make a difference and help mothers who are struggling. After coming out the other side of her struggles with postpartum, PTSD, anxiety and OCD, Kayla has become a maternal mental health advocate who’s focus is improving access to treatment. She is motivated and working towards the dream of having a maternal mental health inpatient unit in Saskatoon, where women are supported and able to receive treatment while staying with their babies. She hopes that by being on the national committee and helping to create a national strategy, this vision can come to life.