Kootenay Boundary Division of Family Practice

Perinatal Mental Health

The project kicked off in 2016 after patient and community agencies advocated for service gaps for women facing mental health challenges. The Regional Perinatal Advisory Committee responded to the advocacy by developing a project plan to:

  • Create a cohesive network improving communications and service coordination between service providers,
  • Provide necessary education for allied professionals on resources, detection and treatment of perinatal mental health conditions,
  • Provide patient and family education and supports to reduce stigma and improve connectivity to services,
  • Develop creative solutions to treatment and support.

The team moved all of these aims forward with the key improvement goals:

  1. Work with services where moms connect 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.


Pillar #1: Education and Prevention

Pillar #2: Screening and Diagnosis

  • Training for service providers with psychiatrist and patient voices representative on symptoms and options for care,
  • EPDS 3 clinic pilot: screening tool for use at every patient visit,
  • Education for providers on use of EPDS and mood disorders screening tools,
  • Pulbic Health – up to 8 weeks post partum screening,
  • BC Women’s Reproductive Health referral form and on-call access,
  • Access to KB psychiatrist for clinical support through virtual care (MBMD and phone).

Pillar #3: Treatment and Self-Management

  • Community specific perinatal mental health referral pathways - Trail, Castlegar, Nelson, Kalso, New Denver, Nakusp, Boundary,
  • Motherwise facilitated peer group sessions,
  • Access to MHSU clinicians with specialized training and psychiatrist: revised intake processes for faster response to perinatal clients,
  • Virtual care access to psychiatrist with specialized training.

Pillar #4: Coping and Support Networks

Pillar #5: Quality Access

  • Virtual care options for rural communities supporting local primary care teams and patients to connect with delivery care providers (GP and midwives), OB/GYN specialists, and psychiatry.

The KB Division of Family Practice continues support regular regional meetings of the Kootenay Boundary Maternal / Child Committee. Issues impacting regional maternity care continued to be discussed and addressed collaboratively at the committee.


Questions? Want to learn more? Contact Mona Mattei at mmattei@divisionsbc.ca