Northeastern Ontario postpartum mood disorder project full report

Postpartum mood disorder (PPMD) is an important and complex mental health issue. It affects one in five mothers and one in ten fathers during pregnancy or in the year after a child is born; over one in four adoptive parents are also affected. The implications of lack of awareness, diagnosis, and treatment have serious long-term impacts on entire families.

Service delivery for PPMD cuts across multiple sectors, including physical health, mental health, child health, child development, and child welfare. Yet, there is no comprehensive strategy for service delivery in Ontario and many communities have limited access to much-needed services and supports related to PPMD.

To develop a strategy to meet the needs of families affected by PPMD and address the inequality of service delivery, the Northeastern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorder project brought together six communities in the region. Through these three community-based components, the project team developed a strategy to make PPMD a priority in Northeastern Ontario. This issue of EENet's Research Report Round-up profiles their work. Research Report Round-ups are plain language summaries of research reports.

Read it below or download the PDF.

Read the summary below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: Northeastern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorder Project Full Report

Author: Northeastern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorder Strategy and Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing

Year of report: 2013

Location: Northeastern Ontario 
Type of study: Literature review, photovoice, community-based research

Population addressed: Families affected by PPMD 
Language of report: English

What this report is about

Postpartum mood disorder (PPMD) is an important and complex mental health issue. PPMD affects one in five mothers and one in ten fathers during pregnancy or in the year after a child is born; over one in four adoptive parents are also affected. The implications of lack of awareness, diagnosis, and treatment have serious long-term impacts on entire families. 

Service delivery for PPMD cuts across multiple sectors, including physical health, mental health, child health, child development, and child welfare. Yet, there is no comprehensive strategy for service delivery in Ontario and many communities have limited access to much needed services and supports related to PPMD. 

In Northeastern Ontario, it is estimated that over 2,700 families were affected by PPMD in 2009-2010. Individuals in this region already face challenges related to their health and wellbeing. To develop a strategy to meet the needs of families affected by PPMD and address the inequality of service delivery, the Northeastern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorder project brought together six communities in the region (Nipissing, Muskoka/Parry Sound, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, and Temiskaming). 

This project had three components, which were designed to drawn upon research evidence, practice-based expertise, and lived experience: 

  • Review of the literature and global initiatives related to PPMD.
  • Develop working groups in each community, made up of community organizations and community members. Each working group completed a service map, identified their community’s challenges and strengths, and made recommendations to address these challenges.
  • 12 women with lived experience from across the region participated in a Photovoice project to visually represent their personal experiences with PPMD.

Through these three community-based components, the project team developed a strategy to make PPMD a priority in Northeastern Ontario. This strategy includes three interrelated recommendations: 

  • Invest in families: Develop partnerships between ministries to provide a continuum of care to families, with a wide variety of service delivery options that recognize the cultural diversity of the region.
  • Competency building:  Build capacity in all systems of care that serve families, and include the use of best practice evidence, practical expertise, and the lived experiences of community providers and members.
  • Education campaign:  Engage in systematic and creative community awareness and education initiatives to provide easily accessible information about PPMD and pathways to care

How can this report be used: This report can be used to increase awareness about the impact of PPMD on families across Ontario. It provides specific recommendations that can advance service delivery in Northeastern Ontario in order to meet the needs of individuals affected by PPMD and assist in the development a province-wide strategy. 

Key words: Postpartum mood disorder, PPMD, Northern Ontario, families 

Contact person/source:
Michelle Deveau-Brock

Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing

North Bay, Ontario

michelled [at] cccnip [dot] com

Websites: 

http://postpartumresource.com/

http://postpartumresource.com/index-fr.html