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Visions Journal

A reminder that this article from our magazine Visions was published more than 1 year ago. It is here for reference only. Some information in it may no longer be current. It also represents the point of the view of the author only. See the author box at the bottom of the article for more about the contributor.

A mental health services program in the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap Health Service Area

Kerry McLean Small, RN, BSN, MNS

Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (2), p. 43

In British Columbia, the realization of the need to support families with a parental mental illness arose in part out of the 1995 Gove Inquiry, which examined issues relating to child protection including the relationship between custody and parental mental illness.

The Post Partum Support Services is a community based program serving individuals throughout the Interior Health Region. The program aims to deliver services to the perinatal population (pregnant women, or mothers with newborn children) regarding various reproductive mental health issues.

The purpose of the program is to provide education pertaining to reproductive mood disorders, to provide support, to enhance self-care abilities, to share experience, to regain a sense of identity, to build self-esteem, to recognize and build on strengths, and to continue personal growth during and after recovery from mood disorders in the perinatal period.

Services offered include assessment, treatment, prevention, consultation and education; various volunteer opportunities are also available. Individual counselling, group support and telephone support are integral components of the program. The Post Partum Program is comprised of a nurse/therapist, a resource physician, volunteer support workers and a community advisory committee.

Referrals for the program are accepted from a variety of sources, including physicians, community agencies, health care professionals, self-referral, friends and/or family.

For further information, please call (250)-851-7450

About the Authors

Kerry is Program Therapist for Post Partum, Support Services of the Interior Health Authority, Mental Health Services

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