If you are thinking about suicide, or you’re worried about someone else, there is help and there is hope. Call or text 9-8-8 toll free, any time — lines are open 24/7/365. To learn more about 9-8-8 visit their website.

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Preventing Suicide in Mothers

Suicide is one of the leading causes of maternal death during pregnancy and up to a year after birth. Being a mother has its own unique risks to suicide, and maternal death by suicide also has a profound effect on the children, including loss of a primary care giver, feelings of separation and abandonment, increased rate of depressive symptoms, and poorer health outcomes. The resources below are to help you understand maternal suicide, where to go if you are in need of assistance, as well as how to help loved ones who need help.



Facts on Maternal Suicide

This resource provides facts on maternal suicide. Although it is based in the Unites States, the risk factors and discussion about race and maternal mental health is applicable to mothers in Canada. Check it out this fact sheet more information.

Maternal Mental Health

This fact sheet gives a quick overview of a survey done on maternal mental health in Canada and what mental health issues mothers face.

Postpartum Depression

Mood swings are common after giving birth, however sometimes it can go further. Some women have more severe symptoms of the baby blues or symptoms that last longer than a few days and this is called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is an illness, like diabetes or heart disease.This webpage provides facts about postpartum depression as well as provides resources to mothers in need of support.

Supporting Women Recovering From Trauma and PTSD

This quick article explains what PTSD is, why women are more likely to develop PTSD, and how family and friends can support PTSD recovery.

Women And Suicide Toolkit: Center for Suicide Prevention

This resource provides statistics, facts, and other important information regarding suicide among women.

Community Action Toolkit

This is a resource for maternal mental health assessment and action-planning conducted by a community task force, coalition, or collaborative workgroup. 2020 Mom has prepared these tools to assist states, counties, and other agencies in identifying existing and emerging issues and implementing evidence-informed initiatives to improve awareness, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of maternal mental health disorders. The purpose is to mobilize communities to address maternal mental health at the local level in big ways! Check it out for more information about how to improve maternal mental health in your community.

WHO Recommendations On Maternal And Newborn Care For A Positive Postnatal Experience

This comprehensive guide aims to improve the quality of essential, routine postnatal care for women and newborns with the ultimate goal of improving maternal and newborn health and well-being. It recognizes a “positive postnatal experience” as a significant end point for all women giving birth and their newborns, laying the platform for improved short- and long-term health and well-being. This in turn, should reduce postpartum depression and suicide among new mothers.

Universal Screening for Maternal Mental Health Disorders

Screening for postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders, is the first step in educating women about the risk, signs and symptoms and detecting potential disorders. Because there isn’t yet a medical diagnostic test, like a blood or saliva test to detect potential mental health disorders, questionnaires (referred to as screening tools) are used. This resource is intended for healthcare professionals. If you are a mother (or supporter) seeking screening, it is encouraged to provide this page to your healthcare professional.

First Candle

First Candle is committed to ending Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths while providing bereavement support to families who have experienced a loss. Working with local organizations throughout the country, they are educating new and expectant parents on the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically lost a baby, we offer bereavement support and counsel. Check out their website for more information.

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day

Each year thousands of families across Canada mourn the death of their babies. In 2017 1,699 infants died within the first year after birth and 3,159 babies were stillborn. Parents get isolated in their grief and the stigma around the death of children prevents society from speaking about the devastating effects on parents and their families. October has a long tradition and significance as a month to remember children who died. Several Canadian provinces have recognized October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. To learn more, check out their website.

Pregnancy And Infant Loss Network

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network (PAIL Network) is dedicated to improving bereavement care and providing support to families who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy or the death of their baby/babies. There are a provincial program that operates as a part of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre‘s DAN Women and Babies program in Ontario.

2020 Mom

2020 Mom is a national maternal mental health non-profit organization aggressively closing gaps in maternal mental health care. Founded in 2011, they have studied the root causes and barriers to diagnosis and treatment, and we advance maternal mental health policy and practice solutions. They center the experience of mothers in all that they do. Although it is based out of the Unites States, 2020 Moms still provides a lot of good information and links to resources that can help anyone in Canada. Check out their website for more information!

Complicated Grief After Perinatal Loss

The loss of a child is recognized as a very difficult life experience, which can often cause complicated grief (CG) reactions that risk negatively affecting psychological and physical well-being. This article reviews literature on CG reactions to perinatal loss. Typical grief reactions and unique aspects of bereavement after perinatal loss are described, before a summary of the risk factors which influence grief outcome. The specific issue of termination of pregnancy due to abnormality is outlined and gender differences between fathers and mothers after prenatal loss are then addressed. Finally, clinical implications for parents after pregnancy loss are discussed.

I Am Not Overprotective—I Am A mom Who Lost A Child

A mother who lost her child describes her experience of losing her child. She believes that when a child dies, you lose the choice to be a carefree, free-range mother. Here’s why she wants the indictment of helicopter parenting to stop.

Perinatal Suicide in Ontario, Canada: A 15-year Population-Based Study

Death by suicide during the perinatal period has been understudied in Canada. This study examined the epidemiology of and health service use related to suicides during pregnancy and the first postpartum year. With 1 in 19 maternal deaths attributable to suicide in Ontario, the findings of this study suggest that there is room to improve engagement of pregnant and postpartum women in perinatal mental health services. Moreover, suicide surveillance and mental health intervention efforts must focus on pregnancy and must continue well into the first postpartum year.

Province Creates Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day

This article documents the day that October 15th became Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in Nova Scotia in 2017.

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