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					                                       Health Promotion and Mental
                                  Health: Post Natal Depression in the
    WHO (2002:2) define Mental Health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with
      the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”

AIM                                                                                                                                                      CURRENT RESEARCH
                                                                                 Mental Health & Well Being
The aim of this poster is to explore the role of
                                                                                                                                                         • Vision For Change (2006:36) -“The Mental
Health Promotion in addressing Post Natal                                        • Mental Health is more than an absence of
                                                                                                                                                           Health System should be based on the
Depression in the Community.                                                       mental illness , mental health influences how                           principle of early intervention, through the
                                                                                   we think and feel about ourselves and others                            provision of mental health promotion at all
                                                                                   and how we interpret events (Department of                              levels of the mental health framework, and
Objectives                                                                         Health, 2001)                                                           through a focus on early intervention with
• To enable midwives to reflect on their role in                                                                                                           individuals in mental health services”.
                                                                                 • Everybody has mental health needs,
  the community and in the education setting
                                                                                   regardless of whether one has a diagnosis or                          • Midwives are ideally placed to recognise the
• To identify the role of health promotion with                                    not. These needs may be met at home, at                                 onset of depression in a mother as they are
  regards to Post Natal Depression                                                 work, in schools-generally where people feel                            more involved in caring for a woman during
                                                                                   safe, respected and included. Therefore the                             the antenatal and post natal period.
• To highlight the services that are available at                                  need for mental health promotion is universal
  present for those with Post Natal Depression                                                                                                           • Lack of emphasis in midwifery education on
                                                                                   and relevant to everyone because everyone                               post natal depression
                                                                                   has mental health needs.
                                                                                                                                                         • Recognition that midwives are a rich
Rationale                                                                        • Mental Health promotion involves any action
                                                                                                                                                           resource for health promotion training and
                                                                                   to enhance the mental well-being of
•    WHO (2001) predicts that depression will be                                                                                                           play a crucial role in identifying and helping
     the second greatest cause of premature                                        individuals, families, organisations or                                 women experiencing difficulties.
     death and disability worldwide by 2020                                        communities (Department of Health, 2001)
                                                                                                                                                         • Mothers feel that antenatal classes
•    Post Natal Depression (PND) is a serious                                                                                                              concentrate more on labour and pain control
     problem across cultures and affects                                         Current Health Promotion                                                  and post natal depression is never discussed
     approximately 1 in 8 women some time in the                                 Initiatives                                                               (Mauthner, 1997).
     first year after giving birth (Sheridan, 2005)
                                                                                 •    Postnatal Distress Support Group -                                 • Women who attend antenatal education
•    Infants and children are likely to have                                                                                                               classes which included knowledge about
     impaired cognitive and emotional                                                                                                                      postnatal depression have half the chance of
                                                                                 •    Aware -                                                 becoming depressed compared to those who
     development and social behaviour, in addition
     the psychological health of the partner has                                                                                                           do not (Smith et al, 2004)
                                                                                 •    GROW-
     also been proven to be affected
     (Murray,1992).                                                                                                                                      • Recent literature purports that it may be
                                                                                 •    Information booklet-Chasing the Blues- HSE                           beneficial to involve partners and the family
•    Post Natal Depression imposes considerable                                                                                                            in health education as they will help and
     burden to those involved which is further                                                                                                             support the mother (Mauthner, 1997)
                                                                                 •    The National Health Promotion Strategy
     worsened by its low recognition, poor
                                                                                      (2000-2005)- “To promote positive mental                           • Clement (1995) has suggested the
     treatment and lack of public awareness.
                                                                                      health especially at vulnerable times in                             introduction of “listening visits” by midwives
                                                                                      women’s lives”.
•    For every 1,000 live births, 100-150 women                                                                                                            in pregnancy and it may be a useful strategy
     will suffer a depressive illness.                                                                                                                     for preventing post natal depression.
                                                                                 •    A Vision for Change (2006)- A community-
                                                                                      based, partnership focused approach for the
•    Fathers are significantly more likely to suffer
                                                                                      individual, their families and the community                       • Post Natal Depression is very distressing
     from depression and general health problems
                                                                                      as a whole                                                           time for the mother and if left untreated may
     if their partners are diagnosed with post natal
     depression                                                                                                                                            escalate to more severe cases and may lead
                                                                                 •    Mental health promotion remains the most                             to physical child abuse and suicide
                                                                                      underdeveloped area of health promotion
•    Screening- Edinburgh Post Natal Depression                                                                                                            (Sheridan, 2005).
                                                                                      although there is an increasing recognition
     Scale (EPDS)- In Ireland detected by GP’S in
                                                                                      that “there is no health without mental health”
     the postnatal stage.
                                                                                      (Mental Health Ireland, 2008).

• Clement, S. (1995) “Listening visits in pregnancy: A strategy for preventing postnatal depression?”, Midwifery 11: 75-80
• Department of Health (2001) Making it Happen: A guide to delivering mental health promotion, London: The Stationery Office
• Department of Health and Children (2006) Vision for Change: Report of Expert Group on Mental Health Policy, Dublin: The Stationery Office
• Mauthner, N.S (1997) “Post Natal Depression: How can midwives help?”, Midwifery 13: 63-171                                                                     For additional information, please contact:

• Murray, L (1992) “The impact of postnatal depression on infant development”, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , 33(5) 543-561                                    Mairead Goulding
• Sheridan, R. (2005) “More than the blues : Postnatal Depression Baby Talk”, Midwifery 89:119-120
• Smith, M.V et al (2004) “Identifying perinatal depression-sooner is better”, Contemporary OB/GYN , 33(11) 58-81
• World Health Organisation (2001) Mental Health: Strengthening Mental Health Promotion [online], available: [accessed on 25th September 2008]
• World Health Organisation (2002)The World Health Report 2001: Mental Health-New Understanding, New Hope, Geneva: WHO
• World Health Organisation (2008) 10 Facts On Mental Health [online], available: [accessed on 5th
  November 2008]

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