Identification of and Intervention in Post-Partum Depression

Posted by CDHM INFO On April - 2 - 2014

As members may be aware, a case last summer of serious post-partum depression resulted in a tragic outcome in the death of a mother and 2 children.  Just before Christmas, the Chief Medical Examiner referred this matter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and after careful consideration it became apparent that all health care professionals need to be aware of the identification and intervention in post-partum depression.

In discussion with the Manitoba Alliance of Health Regulatory Colleges, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Mood Disorders Association, The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba and the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, The College of Physicians and Surgeons created a similar notice as follows:

It is important that all registered dental hygienists be aware of the insidious nature of post-partum depression.  The following internet links present various materials that registered dental hygienists may provide to their clients.  It is very important that all registered dental hygienists be aware of the potentially tragic results that can occur when a mother who has serious post-partum depression slips through the cracks or intervention is not started early enough.  Post-partum depression may become a serious life threatening illness.

Please read the following material and consider it carefully:

Key Messages on Post-Partum Mental Health Awareness for Health Care Regulatory Colleges

April 2014


  1. To create awareness amongst health care professionals about post-partum mental health.
  2. To stress the importance of early recognition of symptoms of post-partum depression, anxiety and psychosis.
  3. To support health care professionals in finding the tools and resources needed to best serve their patients.

Key Messages

  1. Attention to perinatal and post-partum mental health is crucial to the well-being of both mother and child.
  2. Awareness and early recognition is essential because postpartum mental health issues can be silent. Helpful treatment options include counselling, medication and support.
  3. Health care professionals must work together to provide comprehensive care to women and children during the perinatal and post-partum periods.
  4. You can find resources to support your practice in the following places:
  5. Crisis resources are available in the following places:

This document has been adapted with permission from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. Also, Mr. R. Guse, Registrar of  the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, was as a key advisor in the creation of this article.

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