A Guide to Getting Help
If you think you might be struggling with postpartum depression (PPD) or a related illness, we know that this is likely a very confusing and difficult time for you. We at PPDAM are committed to empowering you and your family to getting the answers and the help you need. We have created a guide to getting help to remove the guesswork from what to do both before and after being diagnosed.
- Talk to someone you trust and tell them how you are feeling. Get The Facts on PPD and related illnesses and visit our Myths of Motherhood section to learn some of the common myths of motherhood.
- See our How are You Really Feeling page and check off the thoughts & feelings that you can relate to. We also list the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Feel free to print off your results and bring them to your health care provider. Though the information on this page cannot be used to diagnose yourself, it can provide helpful information to your doctor.
- Talk to your health care provider (Doctor, Midwife or Public Health Nurse) and be truthful about how you are feeling and what you are thinking.
- You might be experiencing a problem with your iron or thyroid, which can sometimes mimic symptoms of depression. Only a qualified health care professional can make this diagnosis.
- If you don’t have a family Doctor, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111 in Winnipeg or Toll-free at 1-866-690-8260; TTY/TDD call 204-774-8618 or Manitoba Relay Services Toll-free at 1-800-855-0511.
- If you don’t know how to reach your public health nurse in Winnipeg, follow the link http://www.wrha.mb.ca/community/publichealth/services-healthy-parenting.php or call the WRHA at 204-926-7000
- Find your nearest public health office outside of Winnipeg by visiting http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/offices.html
- If you are struggling with the adjustments of motherhood or becoming a parent, visit our Manitoba Courses/Workshops & Support Groups section as well as our Counselling Services section to see what’s available within the province.
- If you have been diagnosed with PPD or a related illness there are plenty of treatment options. See our Facts section for a list of treatment options and speak with your health care provider for a treatment plan that is right for you.
- If you are considering therapy, there are publicly funded (free) and private practice (cost) programs. There are psychologists and psychiatrists who specialize in perinatal mental health, so ask your health care provider for a referral to a publicly funded program. For more information on these programs, visit the following link https://mps.ca/find-psychologist/ or call the Department of Clinical Health Psychology Central Intake Line at 204-787-7424. In Winnipeg, a number of women’s health psychology services are offered. For more information on referrals to publicly funded psychologists in Winnipeg, click here.
- If you cannot get into a publicly funded (free) program, visit the Manitoba Psychological Society http://members.mps.ca/ for a list of private practice (cost) psychologists. Make sure to filter by Area of Expertise to find psychologists who specialize in postpartum depression/anxiety, etc. Note that many psychologists display a laundry list of expertise so they may not be specifically trained in all of these areas.
- Check if your medical insurance plan provides coverage for private practice counselling
- Find Pregnancy, Prenatal, and Postpartum Therapists in Manitoba by visiting here.
- Check to see if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program (E.A.P.) offering free and confidential telephone &/or in-person counselling.
- There is also a list of free or low-cost counselling services on page 8 of the Winnipeg Mental Health Resource Guide. See the link for more details. https://mbwpg.cmha.ca/resources/mental-health-resource-guide-for-winnipeg/
- If you feel like you might be in crisis, see our In Crisis page for a list of helpful resources.
- Support groups and courses/workshops can be very helpful in your recovery and treatment plan. See our list of Manitoba Courses/Workshops and Support Groups to find a support group near you.
- Get educated on your illness. Know that it is NOT permanent and it is NOT your fault. It is the most common complication of childbirth and affects 1 in 8 families. Visit our website for more information and see our list of helpful websites, forms, and publications and self-help guides for other great resources.
- Call the Postpartum Support International (PSI) Helpline at 1-800-944-4773 (4PPD) to speak with a trained volunteer who can get you in touch with your local PSI volunteer support coordinators. Call or text the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba Postpartum Warmline at 204-391-5983 to speak with a volunteer with personal experience. You can also email the Postpartum Warmline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are in Crisis, visit our In Crisis page.
We have listed some practical self-care tips to help you manage your depression/anxiety in your every day life. Recovering from a perinatal mental illness takes time, patience and a lot of support. Remember- “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain” (Vivian Greene).
Partners: Try your best to understand what your loved one is going through. Educate yourself on their illness. It will help you understand and support them better. But also remember to take time to care for yourself.