Maternal Mental Health Matters 2020 – Begin Before Birth Canada – POSTPONED, register to get information on new date

This event has been postponed to an indeterminate date in line with government and McGill coronavirus (COVID-19) directives. 

To be notified of the new date and program,  click here to Register at no cost via Eventbrite.

Maternal Perinatal Mental Health as a Global Priority The Human & Economic Cost of Inaction

To be determined, but some time in Fall 2020

Location: TBD

Registration: $35 (includes lunch)

Children born to women who struggle with anxiety or depression in pregnancy are twice as likely to develop mental health problems of their own, even when we consider some of the most well-known risk factors, including genetics. Every baby should have the best opportunity to remain healthy and thrive throughout childhood; this means every mother should receive the mental health support she needs. We will hear from leading scientists, senior healthcare administrators, advocacy and policy groups in Canada and abroad who are working together to highlight the importance of maternal perinatal mental health to their child’s mental health, and the cost to society when we ignore and to society.

Students/Trainees register here to give a flash talk and/or poster presentation.

View and download most recent program, click here.

Part of global activities organised for the World Maternal Mental Health Day         #MaternalMHmatters

Confirmed Speakers

Thomas G. O'Connor

Wynne Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Neuroscience; Director of the Wynne Center for Family, University of Rochester Medical Center.

Early Childhood Stress & Psychological Development

Dr O’Connor co-leads a 7-year, $18M study of how prenatal inflammation —part of the body’s immune response— affects a child’s neurodevelopment. The study is part of the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program on how exposure to environmental factors, from conception through early childhood, influences the health of children and adolescents. 

Martin Knapp

Professor, Economics Health Policy, University College London; Research Fellow, Care Policy & Evaluation Centre, the London School of Economics and Political Science; Director,School for Social Care Research, National Institute for Health Research, UK.

Using Economic Evidence to Highlight Policy Challenges

Dr Knapp‘s portfolio of reports for the UK government and international bodies (EU, WHO) demonstrate the economic cost of untreated mental health problems. His report ‘Best Practice for Perinatal Mental Health Care: The Economic Case’ quantifies the long-term costs and impacts of untreated perinatal depression on mothers and their children.

Patricia Tomasi

A mental health advocate, author and former online and broadcast journalist.

Maternal Mental Health is a Women’s Rights Issue

Patricia Tomasi  is co-Founder of the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative (CPMHC), a pan-Canadian group advocating for a National Strategy for Perinatal Mental Health, and the administrator of a Facebook support group. She has lived experience with severe postpartum anxiety twice and is raising a daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome.

Lynne McVey

President & CEO, Academic Mission, Montreal West Island Integrated University Health & Social Service Centre (IUHSSC)

Institutional Challenges in Addressing Maternal Mental Health

Lynne McVey has over 20 years of experience as a senior and clinical operations manager in health and social services, including Executive Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. The A strong proponent of client-centred care, Ms McVey has facilitated the initiation of the Montreal Antenatal Well-bring study across the Montréal West Island IUHSSC ⁠— the largest of the 5 IUHSSCS on the island of Montréal, serving a population of nearly 370,000.  

Kara Zivin

Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan; Research Scientist Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), USA

Societal Costs of Untreated Perinatal Mood Disorders in the USA

She developed a mathematical model quantifying the societal costs of untreated PMD on children from conception to age 5 — estimates for a 2017 cohort is $14.2 billion USD. She is also studying mental health coverage versus outcomes for privately insured women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Chloe Ferguson

Director, Early Years Program, Martin Family Foundation

Lessons From the Early Years Program

The Early Years Program reaches indigenous women who are pregnant or new mothers. Trained EY Visitors from the community walk alongside pregnant women and families to support their prenatal health and their children’s early well-being and development. It serves the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Alberta and the four nations that make up Maskwacis, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Tribe, and Montana First Nation.

Paul Martin

Call to Action – Panel discussion

The Right Honourable Paul Martin, as the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, put in motion the process that led to the 2006 Kelowna Accord—a historic agreement with Indigenous people in Canada that would have eliminated the gaps in education and healthcare for Indigenous Canadians. It was in this context that after leaving politics, Mr. Martin joined with members of his family and others to create the Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund and the Martin Family Initiative (MFI). 

Kieran O'Donnell

Dr O’Donnell, Assistant Professor, Depart. of Psychiatry, McGill University; Researcher, Ludmer Centre and Douglas Hospital Research Centre; Azrieli Global Scholar in Child & Brain Development.

Dr Kieran O’Donnell is an expert in perinatal influences on early-childhood development, the biological embedding of early adversity and epigenetic markers for therapeutic efficacy. He  leads the newly launched Montreal Antenatal Well-being study, one of the largest studies in Canada to examine the biological, psychological and social factors that influence maternal well-being in pregnancy.

Check back regularly for more speakers

Breastfeeding mothers can be accommodated. Please contact  us.

For more information contact Joanne Clark:

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