Towards a National Perinatal Mental Health Strategy

Session Description

From ‘two Barrie Moms on a Mission’ to a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada in two short years. Jaime Charlebois and Patricia Tomasi, Co-Founders/Co-Executive Directors of the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative, explain advocacy at the national level and what’s needed to evoke change on the front-lines and within the community.

Learning Objectives

  • List reasons why Canada needs a national perinatal mental health strategy.
  • Describe what other countries and jurisdictions are doing to address perinatal mental health that Canada isn’t.
  • Advocate and create national awareness for perinatal mental health.
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About the Speakers

Jaime Charlebois is a mom of one who struggled through early parenting due to undiagnosed and untreated perinatal mental illness. She is the Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative. Jaime has 23 years of clinical women’s reproductive health experience and is currently working as an Advanced Practice Nurse and Psychotherapist in perinatal mental health. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing, a Perinatal Nursing Certification from the Canadian Nurses Association and a Perinatal Mental Health certification from Postpartum Support International. Her work experience includes clinical nursing, higher education, and clinical leadership positions. She collaborates at the local, provincial, and national level with multiple organizations and committees.

Patricia Tomasi is a mom of two who struggled to find help for perinatal mental illness. Her personal experience led her to seek others online in search of peer support while dealing with her own perinatal mental illness. In 2017, Patricia started a Facebook Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Support Group providing 24/7 support to thousands of women from around the world who flocked to join the private group. Shortly after, she co-founded the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative, along with Jaime Charlebois.

Patricia is now a former-journalist-turned-fierce-advocate who went from writing about the state of perinatal mental health in Canada as a reporter for HuffPost to lobbying the federal government for a national perinatal mental health strategy. You can find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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