At Women’s College Research Institute, we are exploring the biological and social factors that shape women’s mental health. In partnership with the clinical Women’s Mental Health Program at Women’s College Hospital, we are developing ways to improve the services women receive when they seek mental health care. These research initiatives and resulting clinical programs combine physical and mental health supports, treatments and preventative care.
Maternal Mental Health
Up to 20 per cent of Canadian women will suffer from a maternal mental illness with the majority of these women either hiding or downplaying their symptoms. Mental illness at this life stage poses unique risks to mothers and their children at a critical junction of both of their lives. Our scientists are helping raise awareness about the gaps in access to specialized perinatal mental healthcare, as well as developing novel approaches to ensure all Canadian women with mental illness receive timely, effective care to improve outcomes for both women and their families. We have recently launched innovative research studies that leverage digital technologies including an online decision aid to help make choices about antidepressant use in pregnancy and an iPhone app to register patients for a study on the genetics of postpartum depression.