Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

January 26, 2010 13:52 ET

Government of Canada Helping Mothers Deal With Maternal Depression

Kitchener-based national program to increase awareness and aid detection

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2010) - On behalf of the Government of Canada and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth today announced an investment of $298,200 in the Beyond the Baby Blues project to be run out of Mosaic Counselling and Family Services in Kitchener.

"This national project will help us gain a greater understanding of maternal depression and how to identify and treat this condition," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The investment demonstrates this government's commitment to ensuring that our children get the best possible start in life."

The project will address the links between maternal depression and other issues including poverty, teen pregnancy, isolation and family violence.

"We know that a mother's physical health is vitally important to the health of her child," said MP Woodworth. "We are increasingly aware that her mental health is just as important."

Maternal depression affects approximately 10 percent of mothers, but up to 50 percent of women who experience depression during pregnancy or post-partum depression are undiagnosed since the condition can mimic the mood changes associated with normal pregnancy.

Beyond the Baby Blues will review current information on maternal depression, as well as working with mental health researchers and professionals through a National Advisory Committee. These experts will work to review current information on the subject and develop maternal depression screening and research tools. It will also work with mothers who are experiencing or have experienced maternal depression.

The national project will deliver an increased awareness of maternal depression, better support tools for women experiencing the condition and training for project staff. It will also identify and develop screening and research tools.

Beyond the Baby Blues is a part of both the Community Action Program for Children (CAPC) and the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP). These two programs are aimed at providing support to vulnerable mothers and children across Canada.

Together, the programs provide funding for 770 projects which reach more than 3,000 communities. Each year they serve more than 100,000 vulnerable pregnant women, children and parents.

Further information can be found at Public Heath Agency of Canada (www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/).

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Contact Information

  • Office of Leona Aglukkaq
    Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    613-957-0200
    or
    Office of Stephen Woodworth
    613-995-8913 or 519-741-2001
    or
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations
    613-941-8189