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Reproductive Mental Health

We assess, treat and support women and their families who are dealing with mental health disorders and psychological difficulties related to pregnancy and following the birth of their baby.
About

Who we treat

Women with psychological concerns associated with pregnancy, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and infertility are assessed and treated. Pre-pregnancy planning for women with existing mental health issues can also be provided. 

The BC Reproductive Mental Health Program website has more comprehensive information about mental health disorders and psychological difficulties related to pregnancy, following the birth and at other times in a woman's reproductive years.  

All services provided by BC Children's Hospital are by referral only.

Services we offer

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Medications and psychotherapeutic treatments for individuals or in groups.
  • Education and family support

The interdisciplinary team consists of psychiatrists, counsellors, nurse clinician, social worker, dietitian, project manager, researchers and clerical staff. Together, the team has many years experience working with women and their families who are dealing with psychiatric diagnoses and psychological difficulties related to the reproductive life cycle.‎

 
 

The Reproductive Mental Health team has participated in and conducted numerous studies in the field of reproductive mental health.


Our current research focus aims to contribute to the knowledge on optimal treatment options for perinatal women’s mental health and increase understanding on the effects of psychotropic medication in the perinatal period.

We also collaborate with the Women's Health Research Institute who are engaged in various projects with the goal of better understanding mental health in the perinatal period. Find out about current research projects and how you can help.

Learn more about our research at Child & Family Research Institute.
 

 

Training opportunities for learning more about psychiatric disorders seen in women during pregnancy and the postpartum period are provided to students at all levels and from multiple disciplines including: nursing,  social work, counselors, medicine.

We provide a variety of education and training services across the province. These include:
  • Public forums
  • Academic rounds which are available across the province by Telehealth
  • Community service providers’ workshops
  • Lectures and conference presentations.
For more information, please email the Reproductive Mental Health Project Manager at dsirivar@cw.bc.ca or call 604-875-2345 ext. 5693.

The BC Reproductive Mental Health Program offers clinical placements and practicums to residents, medical students, nursing students and counselling students who are interested in learning more about psychiatric disorders seen in women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. These placements also offer experience in the assessment and treatment of patients with psychiatric conditions related to infertility, pregnancy loss and the premenstrual period. Trainees are exposed to different members of our interdisciplinary team including psychiatrists, nurse clinicians, counselors, social workers and dietitians.


Treatment

 Treatment location

The Reproductive Mental Health Program is located on the ground floor of the Mental Health Building at entrance 81. We are an outpatient service that also provides consultation to colleagues at BC Women's Hospital and around the province who are caring for women as inpatients. Referrals are triaged by the nurse clinician.

Telephone consultations to referring practitioners are available, responding to issues of patient safety, medication use or community supports available to the patient while waiting for their first appointment.

Wait times

Patients will be contacted by telephone and offered a suitable appointment. Typical wait periods from referral to first appointment will be 2-3 months.

What we treat

Pregnancy and postpartum - up to 1 year

  • Referral from a physician, midwife or nurse practitioner.
  • Patients receive initial assessment from a Reproductive Team psychiatrist.
  • Treatment planning and recommendations are based on the initial assessment.
  • Short-term treatment options may be available through the Reproductive Mental Health Program.
Pre-Pregnancy medication consultation

For patients with existing mental health disorders.

  • Referral from physician.
  • One consultation / assessment is usually offered to patients who have a previous diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive or anxiety disorders.
  • Advice is offered to the patient and their treating physician about the safety and management of medications in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Pregnancy loss

  • Referral from a physician or relevant health care provider.
  • Initial assessment by Reproductive Mental Health psychiatrist.
  • Short-term treatment options available through the Reproductive Mental Health Program.

Infertility

  • Referral from physician or relevant health care provider.
  • First assessment by Reproductive Mental Health psychiatrist.
  • Short-term treatment options available through the Reproductive Mental Health Program.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

  • Referral from a physician or relevant health care provider.
  • Patients attend a group educational session facilitated by a clinical counsellor and a dietitian.
  • Reproductive Team psychiatrist completes an assessment
Inpatient consultations

  • Referral from health care colleagues on the antenatal and postnatal wards.
  • A Reproductive Mental Health psychiatrist or nurse clinician will assess and offer advice to patient and colleagues on treatment.
  • Follow-up appointments in the Reproductive Mental Health outpatient clinic will be offered as appropriate.
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SOURCE: Reproductive Mental Health ( )
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