Professional & Community Resources

Programs and services. Just around the corner.

There are a number of services available in our community where you can turn to for help. We also encourage you to speak to your health care provider about appropriate options.

  • Mother Reach Postpartum Drop-in for Women and Families 519-434-6848
  • HOPEline Postpartum Depression Phone Line 519-672-HOPE (4673)
  • CMHA Crisis Services 519-433-2023 OR toll free at 1-866-933-2023
  • Canadian Mental Health Association London-Middlesex 519-434-9191
  • Ontario Mental Health Helpline 519-866-531-2600

 

  • Childreach 519-434-3644
  • Children’s Aid Society 519-455-9000
  • Daya Counselling Centre 519-434-0077
  • Family Service Thames Valley 519-433-0183 ext. 135
  • Heartspace - Addiction Services Thames Valley 519-673-3242
  • InterCommunity Health Centre 519-660-0875
  • London Cross Cultural Learner Centre 519-432-1133
  • London Health Sciences Centre Anxiety and Affective Disorders Service 519-685-8500 ext. 75918
  • Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre (Emergency Child Care) 519-434-6848
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit 519-663-5317 ext. 2280
  • Regional Mental Health Care London 519-455-5110
  • Your Midwife, Doula, Family Physician, or other health care provider

 

Perinatal Mental Health Websites

 

Checklist for Selecting A Therapist/Agency

  • Phone first to get a feel for the therapist/agency
  • What is the therapist/agency training and experience with regard to your issues?
  • What type of therapy does the therapist/agency provide? Would it be suitable for you?
  • Is there a fee? If so, how much? Is it covered by your insurance plan?
  • What is the billing procedure?
  • How long is the waiting list? How often can you meet with the therapist/agency?
  • Where is the therapist/agency located? What are their hours?
  • Ask any other questions you feel are important

After a few meetings with the therapist, ask yourself:

  • Did you feel comfortable and understood?
  • Can you talk about the issues that are most important to you?
  • Are you working together toward common goals?

Healing takes time. There may be periods when it is difficult to notice any progress. There may be setbacks and frustrations. Progress is shown by improvement over time. You and your therapist/agency are the best judges.

If the therapist/agency suggests medications as part of your treatment:

  • What effects will the medication have?
  • What are the benefits… and the risks?
  • What side effects may there be?
  • You have the right to refuse medication if you are concerned about its effects.

What if you are concerned about your therapy/treatment?

  • Trust your instincts
  • If something does not seem right to you, talk it over with someone you trust
  • It is important not to stay with a therapist or agency member who is not helping you or is doing you harm

Sexual experiences between you and a professional are not okay and are never your fault. If this happens to you, tell someone in authority.

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders … they are Real.

Up to 80% of mothers experience baby blues, and up to 20% of mothers develop depression or anxiety some time around the birth of a baby or the adoption of a baby (Campbell et al. 1992, O’Hara 1991). Mood & anxiety disorder symptoms may also begin in pregnancy in up to 20% of women.

Top 4 Risk Factors:

  • Recent stressful life events
  • Lack of social supports (actual or perceived)
  • Personal or family history of mood disorder
  • Depression and anxiety in pregnancy

Symptoms:

  • Sleeping or eating disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional lability
  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling high and full of energy
  • Feeling restless
  • Irritable or angry

Recognize & Reassure

  • Manic symptoms may precede a "crash" depression
  • Listen for comments such as "I feel like running away", "I feel like everything is crowding in on me", "I feel so alone even when I’m with my family", "I'm a rotten person, a rotten mother", "I sometimes think of hurting the baby or myself."
  • Listen to and validate the woman’s feelings
  • Reinforce that she has showed strength and courage by sharing her thoughts and feelings
  • Reassure her that help is available and that she will recover

Evaluate

Ask all new moms about depression and anxiety, past births and pregnancy and postpartum experiences.

  • Can you sleep when baby sleeps?
  • Are you eating? What are you eating?
  • Do you get out?
  • Are you having any scary or repetitive thoughts about you or the baby?

Act

  • If the PASS-CAN screen yields a positive result, assess further using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screening tool (EDPS)
  • Encourage self care, acceptance of support and professional intervention
  • Consider intervention options such as medication or counselling
  • Educate and involve other family members
  • Direct to community resources

Learn

  • Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders are the most common complication of pregnancy
  • Recent literature indicates that those who suffer with “the blues’ may be at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety
  • 1-2 women per 1000 births develop postpartum psychosis. Psychosis has a 5% suicide rate and a 4% rate of infanticide (Knopps, 1993).  Immediate Medical Attention is Required in this situation.