News: Medical journal says Canada needs to do more to prevent maternal suicide

It’s portrayed as the happiest moment of a woman’s life – but for some women, the birth of a child

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It’s portrayed as the happiest moment of a woman’s life – but for some women, the birth of a child comes with postpartum depression.

Unfortunately, in Canada, we’re not doing enough to help those suffering from postpartum depression, argues an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, written by deputy editor Kirsten Patrick.

She says that while several countries examine maternal deaths to recognize contributing factors – Canada doesn’t. But we should, she says, because it’s essential to find out the exact cause of death in new mothers in order to prevent potential future suicides in others who are suffering.

"We must examine individual cases to inform strategies aimed at preventing such unnecessary and tragic loss of life," Patrick writes. "Physicians must recognize postpartum depression for the debilitating condition it is."

Editorials like this one couldn’t be more appropriate today – on World Suicide Prevention Day.

If you think someone you know needs help, the best approach, suggests Patrick, is simply to ask them directly if they’ve been feeling hopeless or depressed.

Then, take steps to help them, such as directing them to the resources offered on the International Association for Suicide Prevention website.

Have you ever suffered from depression or worried that family member or friend might be? How did you deal with it?

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

Related:
8 signs you might be suffering from depression
6 things you may not know about mental health
How to cope with anxiety and depression

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