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The confusions and perceptions surrounding perinatal anxiety and depression are preventing new and expecting mums from seeking help.
“I’m looking down at my baby on my chest and I’m feeling nothing, whilst my husband was besotted with her. He was so overwhelmed with joy and I didn’t have that. I wasn’t feeling how I should.” Sara Gerritsma
Bearing the shame of this illness can prevent new parents like Gerritsma from seeking help early and can leave them suffering in silence for longer.
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One in three migrant women from low- and middle-income countries has symptoms of perinatal depression
Migration and perinatal mental health in women from low- and middle-income countries.
In this systematic review and meta-analysis the authors summarising the prevalence, associated factors and interventions for perinatal mental disorders in migrant women from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Even though they found that the prevalence of perinatal depression is very high among migrant women, the data they found was insufficient to assess the burden of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis in this population.
Furthermore the authors stress, that given the adverse consequences of perinatal mental illness on women and their children, further research in low-resource settings is a priority.
Read the abstract in the BJOG – International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaeocology
Interested in mental illness among displaced, migrant and refugee women in South Africa? Read our Issue Brief
#DignityInMind – Raising Awareness on World Mental Health Day
On Monday 10 October 2016 people across the globe will commemorate World Mental Health Day, and in Cape Town, South Africa, it’s no different.
With four screenings of various documentary films focusing on mental health in South Africa, the #DignityInMind Documentary Film Festival aims to educate and empower Capetonians to speak up about mental health.
The festival forms part of the #DignityInMind campaign spearheaded by the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH). This year’s campaign brings together mental health organisations from across the entire country to share their ideas and support one another’s activities for an even bigger campaign and an online hub where information and events are shared.
The #DignityInMind Festival will be taking place at the Labia on Orange in Cape Town. This will include he much-anticipated Cape Town premiere of Doc-U-Mentally, a documentary looking at the physical and mental challenges five doctors on a 30-hour shift at Ngwelezane Hospital in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal face.
Other documentaries to be screened, include Voices from the Edge. This short film investigates the work of the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care in South Africa and Nepal and takes the viewer on a journey of 2 Nepalese and 2 South African families personal experience of living with, or supporting a family member living with mental illness.
Caring for Mothers confronts viewers with the massive challenges South African mothers with perinatal mental health problems face every day and it shows how the Perinatal Mental Health Project aims to relieve this burden.
Normal is a short documentary looking at a day in the life of Dr John Parker, a psychiatrist at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital and the director of the Spring Foundation.
Shows rotating these films will be screened at 11:30, 13:45 and 16:00. The Doc-U-Mentally premiere will take place at 18:15. Entry for all four shows will be R40 and can be booked by calling 021 424 5927. Ticket will also be available at the door.
For a full programme, please visit the #DignityInMind campaign website at bitly.com/mentalhealthsa.
The Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH) grew out of a shared vision and commitment to collaboration between members of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the Psychology Department at Stellenbosch University (SU).
This year’s initiative is possible thanks to the following partners:
Adding their voices to this year’s call for dignity in mental health, are the Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP), Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) and the Mental Health Innovation Network Africa (MHIN Africa) – all from UCT – and Cape Mental Health (CMH), the South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH), RuReSA & the Rural Mental Health Campaign (RMHC), LifeLine Western Cape, Khuluma, the Ithemba Foundation & the Mental Health Information Centre (MHIC).
Bush Radio is a proud media sponsor of the #DignityInMind campaign.
Depression during and after pregnancy is affecting up to one in five women globally.
Previous studies from around the world suggest that depression during and after pregnancy affects the bonding between mother and child and can have direct implications for infant survival and early childhood development.
In this new review, the authors focused mainly on low and middle income countries and are calling for urgent interventions for mothers and children.
There is a substantial lack of research specific to women in poorer countries, where interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy may not be available
– Prof Vivette Glover, Imperial College London
Previously, research into perinatal depression has focused on high income countries. But current studies suggest that the problem is more common in low- and middle-income countries, some even suggest that up to 50% of women living in adversity are experiencing depression during or after pregnancy.
Therefor more resources are needed to support expectant and new mothers. Urgent investment is needed in research and the development of appropriate low cost interventions that are specific to these areas.