Reimagining perinatal mental health services: Collaborative development of an integrated model of care


  • Michelle Carter
    Providence Health Care

Team members: 

  • Wendy Hall 
  • Angela Russolillo
    St. Paul's Hospital
  • Brittany Bingham
    VCH Aboriginal Health
  • Christine Ou
  • Valerie Rychel
    St. Paul's Hospital
  • Sheila Duffy
    Pacific Post Partum Society
  • Nichole Fairbrother

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the most common obstetrical complication in Canada, with serious implications for both the mother and infant. Untreated PMADs are associated with increased risks for poor health and social outcomes, including maternal suicide and medical complications as well as impaired infant and child development. There is increasing scientific evidence that collaboration across clinical services is essential to addressing the complex biopsychosocial needs associated with PMADs. Nevertheless, perinatal mental health (PMH) services in Canada remain fragmented, often resulting in missed opportunities to support necessary care and treatment. 

There is an immediate need to improve the access and integration of services for PMADs in BC. In an effort to narrow the evidence to practice gap, we plan to create a collaboration between clinicians, researchers and individuals with lived experience through a scientific consensus process (Delphi approach) and one-day virtual workshop. Our main objective is to develop an evidence-based, user-informed model of care to advance integrated PMH care delivery in BC and beyond.