The Regional Perinatal Advisory Committee received new funding this year to achieve improvements in care for mothers who experience mental illness during pregnancy or post-partum.
Three key goals are:
1. Work with key “entry points” to service to: develop standardized approach to screening and supporting new moms at risk of or with mental health challenges; improve attachment between moms and babes; reduce stigma about mental illness:
2. Revise mental health service intake process to recognize perinatal mental health referrals as a co-morbid condition and increase priority of patients for support
3. Develop skills of multi-disciplinary professionals for better screening, diagnosis, and awareness of treatment options for new mothers while building collaborative local service networks
Key accomplishments in 2016:
- Patient needs assessment about perinatal mental health supports in the KB;
- MHSU revision of intake processes to improve response times for new moms:
- Development of a referral pathway tool for perinatal mental health;
- Series of workshops hosted by BC Reproductive Mental Health available for community organization groups facilitators, clinicians, and physicians;
- Familiar faces program initiated in the Boundary region - cross professional interactions with new and expecting moms to normalize services and increase accessibility;
- Familiar Faces program to expand into all four communities in coming months;
- Pilot program initiated as a collaboration between MHSU and community organizations to provide group support sessions in four communities;
- Interprofessional learning sessions to be provided in spring 2017.