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Vancouver Island Health Authority Provides Real Support to Mothers Suffering From Post-Partum Depression

VIHA Public Health Nurses offer depression assessment tool to help assess whether anxiety or depression level requires treatment and subsequently offer many forms of support

Gratefully copied from the VIHA website

PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING SERVICES

1: To help prevent and identify postpartum depression, Public Health Nurses (PHNs) offer the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), a screening tool, to new mothers at the two and six month Child Health Clinic. Research shows that the EPDS, a set of 10 simple questions, is a reliable and useful indicator for women who may be suffering from depression.

2: Depending on the results of the scale, mothers are offered further support, counselling and/or referral. In cases where there is a possibility of PPD/anxiety, it is recommended that women see their physicians to diagnosis the PPD/anxiety.

3: PHNs also offer postpartum depression support groups. These groups provide information and support in order to help women get through what can be a very challenging time. In the group, through sharing and working together, women learn to build on their strengths, find ways to cope and become emotionally stronger. The groups are held in locations in Victoria, Saanich and Western Communities. All meetings are led by Public Health Nurses trained to provide support to the groups. Registration is necessary. Please call a nurse at one of the health units for more information.

4: PHNs have limited copies of the book Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. A self-help guide for mothers, developed by the Pacific Post Partum Support Society, for lending to mothers. Call the Health Unit nearest you.

OTHER INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
If you feel depressed and have a young baby at home, or someone you care about is in this situation, talk to one of the following for help:

Physicians or midwives
Prenatal class teacher
Best Babies

  • Esquimalt Best Babies 385-2635
  • Victoria Best Babies 385-8979
  • Peninsula Best Babies 656-0134
  • Maternity Social Workers (referral through your doctor or nurse while in Labour and Delivery, Mother-Babe or Special Care Nursery)
  • Mental Health Services (referral by physician) – 370-8175
  • Postpartum Support Counsellor with Queen Alexandra Centre – counselling and support groups (referral through your doctor, nurse or midwife)

Please note: Postpartum services are provided at no cost.

Websites
www.bcrmh.com BC Reproductive Mental Health Outreach Program
www.postpartum.org  Pacific Postpartum Support Society
www.postpartum.net Postpartum Support International

In an emergency…

If you are ever afraid you are about to harm yourself or your baby, call a friend, family member, or neighbour right away. Then contact:

    • your family physician or midwife
    • NEED Crisis Information Line (24 hours), 386-6323

They will be able to help and, if necessary, refer you to Emergency Mental Health Services.

For more information on Post-Partum Depression.

This material is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult with your physician if you are in any way concerned about your health.

© 2003 SLPM Self-care Ltd.

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