Across Canada, May 6 to May 12 is Mental Health Awareness Week, an awareness campaign sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The organizers of the event invite all interested parties to come participate, and donate to the CMHA.
The event will discuss mental health concerns for all groups in society, which includes new and expecting mothers. Clinical studies suggest that postnatal depression occurs in approximately 1 out of 10 new mothers in the first year following the birth of their baby. While most cases involve mildly depressive symptoms, there are some situations that risk severe depressive episodes. Doctors caution that in severe cases where the symptoms are left untreated, mothers could develop rare cases of psychosis.
In many cases, the symptoms of mental illness can be mistaken for pregnancy symptoms and typically are left unnoticed. The Mental Health Awareness Week teaches mothers, fathers, friends, and family to keep an eye out for any worrying signs, including:
– lack of energy
– loss of appetite
– suicidal thoughts
– feelings of hopelessness
– inability to bond with your baby
If these symptoms occur, it is important to seek assistance right away. There are plenty of treatment options available to pregnant women and new mothers. Family doctors and paediatricians often suggest counselling for mild cases of depression and anxiety. In severe cases, anti-depressants may be required.
Doctors advise mothers to voice their concerns and anxieties rather than bottle them up inside. Loved ones are there to offer support in times of need, and talking out issues goes a long way to helping relieve anxiety.
Classes and tutorials are available at the Mental Health Week campaign. For more information on the event, as well as the CMHA, visit: https://mentalhealthweek.cmha.ca/