World Mental Health Day ~ October 10, 2010

World Mental Health Day on October 10 raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes more open discussion of illnesses, and investments in prevention and treatment services. WHO statistics for 2002 show that 154 million people world wide suffer from depression, only one form of mental illness.

Mental, neurological and behavioural disorders are common in all countries around the world, causing immense suffering and staggering economic and social costs. People with disorders are often subjected to social isolation, poor quality of life and higher death rates.

1 in 5 women go through depression during or after pregnancy. Mood swings, tiredness, trouble eating and sleeping all happen at certain times during pregnancy, but these can be signs of depression if they last for more than 2 weeks. Other signs of depression are:

  • Always feeling sad
  • Feelings of despair, guilt, or worthlessness
  • Thinking often about death and suicide
  • Not being able to concentrate or do the things you normally do
  • Not being able to sleep, or sleeping a lot

Did you know that if you are depressed:

  • You are more likely to use alcohol and drugs?
  • You are more likely to skip your medical appointments?
  • You may not bond with your baby?
  • You are less likely to breastfeed your baby?
  • Your baby may be born too soon or too small?
  • Your baby may have more health and behaviour problems?
  • Your baby can be affected by your stress hormones and chemicals?
  • Your partner is twice as likely to be depressed?

That’s why it is important to pay attention to these feelings, and ask for help if you need it. Talk to your health care provider, partner, family and friends and ask for their help and support. 

For more information, visit: 

Saskatchewan Maternal Mental Health:   www.skmaternalmentalhealth.ca

Best Start Resource Centre:  www.lifewithnewbaby.ca

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