STAMPS: Strategies To Access Mental-health Perinatal Services


Childbirth is a significant event in the life of a woman and moments ensuing it may entail increased susceptibility to mental health disorders. There are times when expecting and new mothers may experience negative emotions in a condition known as perinatal depression (PND).

In addition to Canada having no formal guidelines for screening perinatal women, there is limited resource allocation for the screening and treatment of PND. A recommendation for PND screening by the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care was rated as “weak”, due to a dearth of randomized controlled trials proving the efficacy of screening. Though several problems associated with PND have been identified in practice and literature, formally screening women and allocating resources accordingly are not prioritized interventions. Even with the resource allocation in the United States and their national guidelines for PND screening, the number of women receiving appropriate treatment and/or experiencing remission has not meaningfully improved. These rates may indicate that the problem is not with screening but with the referral network, treatment availability and/or follow-up. Given the potentially intergenerational negative effects of PND and the high percentage of women experiencing symptoms, it is important for women to receive appropriate and timely interventions, such as screening and treatment of PND.
Our study proposes to fill a knowledge gap with respect to comprehending the current perinatal mental health system and identifying a client’s need with respect to mental health care. This will contribute towards preventative and therapeutic strategies that will likely be implemented to address PND. The earlier a recommended strategy is implemented, the greater the chance of improved maternal wellbeing and child development, decreased risk of parental burnout and reduced healthcare costs. Prior to implementing strategies to address perinatal mental health, understanding the current care journey for women within this system is needed. In this exploratory project, we will gather narratives from our sample of key stakeholders to map out the perinatal mental health care journey. These narrative data sets will be analyzed for emergent themes and we will seek to verify client needs prior to co-creating potential interventions with key stakeholders.

Capstone Team: 

Nancy Mingo
Ayeshah Mohiuddin
Sydney Taylor
Sue Zelko


Capstone Advisory Committee:

Rachelle Ashcroft
Nirmala Chandrasekaran
Olivia Scobie


TRP Faculty Lead:

Dr. Richard Foty