The Provincial Reproductive Mental Health Program is based at BC Children and Women’s Health Centre and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC. We help women and their families dealing with emotional difficulties related to the reproductive cycle. Approximately 1 in 12 women will experience mental illness or an emotional disorder related to their reproductive cycle, including depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and psychosis. Patients need to be a BC resident and a referral from a physician or midwife is necessary to access our clinical services. Outpatient clinic hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
We also provide consultations and training to health and community providers across the province. In addition, we work in collaboration with other service providers to deliver quality care to our patients and their families.
Our program consists of psychiatrists, nurse clinicians, psychologists, nutritionists and other professionals serving women with psychiatric disorders specifically related to their reproductive cycle:
- Postpartum – up to one year after delivery
- Pregnancy loss or perinatal loss
- Perimenopause/ Menopause – maxium 6 visits. Only patients 55 years or younger.
- Pre-Pregnancy/ Medications Assessments
The Program sees between 3000 – 4000 outpatient women during pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause, and PMDD. These are follow up visits and new referrals. We also have an inpatient consultation service that meets the needs of maternity patients at both hospital sites.
The Reproductive Mental Health Program offers education and training opportunities. This multidisciplinary program offers teaching in:
- Department of Medicine: Medical students, residents in psychiatry, elective (genetics, obstetrics, and family practice).
- Department of Psychology: PhD and MA level students training under PhD level psychologists.
- Nursing students
- Social Work students
In addition, our program is involved in numerous research projects in the field of reproductive mental health. Our focus is on contributing to the knowledge on optimal treatment options for perinatal women’s mental health and increasing the understanding on the effects of psychotropic medication in the perinatal period. We also collaborate with the Women’s Health Research Institute who is engaged in various projects with the goal of better understanding mental health in the perinatal period.
We maintain a website for the public and health professionals, outlining all treatment options, and providing a variety of information and resources on topics related to mental illness and emotional disorder related to the reproductive cycle. Our website can be accessed here.
We offer groups and workshops to our patients at no cost. A list of current workshops and groups includes the following:
BC Women’s Hospital:
- Assertiveness Training
- Coping with Depression: Self-Care Management Plan
- Depression and Anxiety in Pregnancy Therapy Group
- Overcoming Emotional Eating
- Parenting Skills Group
- Partner Information and Support Seminar
- Partner Up and Self Care: A Workshop for Couples
- Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Therapy Group
- PMS Education Session
- Raising Your Self-Esteem Using CBT
St. Paul’s Hospital:
- Dealing with Difficult People
- Stress Management
- Optimistic Thinking
- Women and Anger: Coping with Difficult Feelings