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 - www.aware.ie 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- www.grow.ie
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
• 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:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/ [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: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mentalhealth/ [accessed on 5th