About

Welcome to my site, which is more like a place to store my articles more than anything else. But there is some great info here so feel free to click around. I write for HuffPost Canada about all things maternal mental health and I also tweet, Insta and Facebook. I would love to hear your story. Please email me at tomasi.patricia@gmail.com.

If you’re looking for peer support like I was at 3 a.m. while going through postpartum depression and anxiety – twice, check out the Facebook group I started which has grown to over 2000 women worldwide. No selling, no soliciting, no men, and it’s completely private.

I started this journey back in 2015, writing about my quest to understand why I developed a maternal mental illness and why the system currently sucks at helping women overcome it.

It didn’t take long for me to become an advocate. I joined the Maternal Mental Health Research Collective as a patient expert advisor, helping moms set the agenda for maternal mental health research. I’m also part of a pretty fantastic group of moms and professionals currently working to create Canada’s first-ever maternal mental health coalition to lobby the government to create a national maternal mental health strategy.  If this is a group and effort you’re interested in joining, please send me an email. (tomasi.patricia@gmail.com)

A bit more about me… After graduating from Ryerson University’s journalism program, I worked in newsrooms across the country from Toronto to Vancouver reporting on the latest political campaigns to Shania Twain and everything in between. I also spent a decade working in communications and media relations for the Ontario government at Queen’s Park.

Now I’m taking those skills and putting them to work on improving maternal mental health in Canada.

Why Canada Needs A Maternal Mental Health Strategy – NOW

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At the 2018 March for Mental Health in Toronto

One in five Canadians will be affected by a mental illness this year, and that includes pregnant and postpartum women who may develop a range of maternal mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

According to new guidelines released by the Government of Canada, depression affects about 10 per cent of women during pregnancy, and 20 to 40 per cent of women with a history of depression will suffer a relapse postpartum. Despite this, Canada does not recommend perinatal depression screening, while Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States all do.

Advocates are calling for:

  • national maternal mental health strategy; 
  • Universal screening for all women for maternal mental health disorders from preconception to one year postpartum and beyond. We need to talk about the symptoms not often spoken about including intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, heart palpitations, muscle tightness, brain fog, derealization, depersonalization and in some cases, delusional thinking, hallucinations, and psychosis;
  • More training for health care providers from nurses to obstetricians, to family doctors, to midwives; and
  • More resources in every community in Canada to help women with a perinatal mood disorder such as therapy, support groups, home care, and a dedicated maternal mental health units with beds for mothers and their babies.
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At the first annual World Maternal Mental Health Day March in Barrie in 2018

Tell me your story. Join us.