> Status of MotherFirst Initiative


Recommendation #1: Awareness 

  • produced and distribute information materials for mothers and professionals and and are housed and distributed through our Prevention Institute
  • MMH is in the curriculum of medicine and nursing
  • continue to do public, media, and professional presentations (Dr. Bowen has spoken approximately 200 times in SK, in five years).
  • successfully engaged the press who contact us for updates. 
  • implemented Maternal Mental Health Day to increase awareness, which is now also international event!
  • developed a DVD about MMH and screening, etc..
  • developed a MMH Tool Kit for mothers and professionals


Recommendation #2: Screening

  • there is now EPDS screening at 2 and 6 month public health child health checks, provincially, in all sites
  • after a petition was presented to the Minister last May 4, 2016, the "Prenatal Checklist/Form Working Group" was organized this August and we are now nearing completion of a PERInatal Form that will include the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen (EPDS) whereby women will be universally screened throughout pregnancy AND within the first month after delivery her baby. Public Health Nurses will then resume screening during immunization appointments or when required.

Recommendation #3: Treatment
  • have prioritization of pregnant and postpartum women in Mental Health Services in most but not all health regions.
  • have engaged the HealthLine 811 since day one, and now provide the Maternal Wellness Program where they assess and provide short term counselling to women referred by public health nurses following EPDS or other concerns nurses may have. There are requests to extend this to women referred by other practitioners. Plans to work with First Nations' communities, are in progress.
  • one regional health authority hired a special MMH counsellor, but chose to train all of their counsellors rather than having special services

Recommendation #4: Accountability

  • the regions are variable in how they have their local groups
  • the committee is now an implementation group, provincially
  • meet with the Minister of Health, regularly

October 2017