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Perinatal mental health

Mother smiling while holding her baby.Taking care of your mental health is essential for the overall wellness of your child and family. Good mental health allows you to:

  • Strengthen the bond with your baby 
  • Feel more confident in your parenting abilities 
  • Provide the necessary care and support for your child to thrive

Prioritizing self-care, reaching out for help, and accessing resources are important steps in maintaining good mental health during this critical time. Explore the resources below to support your perinatal mental health. For more information about services in your community, contact your local health unit.

Families with perinatal mental health issues may also use substances. If you or someone you know needs help, reach out: Get help with substance use.

Need help right away?

If you're in a crisis or emergency, or are worried that you or a loved one is at risk of harm, get help now:

  • Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you or someone you know if having thoughts of suicide
  • Call 310 Mental Health Support: 310-6789 (no area code needed) to speak to a crisis line worker 24/7
     
Building NEST-S for good self-care

Good self-care supports your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. NEST-S is an acronym that can help to remind you. It stands for:

  • Nutrition: Eat foods that you enjoy, in amounts that are satisfying to you. Feed yourself regularly to get enough energy and nutrition. 
  • Exercise: Move your body in ways and amounts that feel good to you. Exercise can help you to feel happier, more energized, less stressed, and sleep better.
  • Sleep: Rest when you can. Even if you aren't getting the sleep you need right now, rest can help to improve your mood and reduce stress. 
  • Time for self: Spend time doing things you like to do. Even a few minutes a day can help recharge mood, energy levels, and add balance to life. 
  • Support: Ask for help. All new parents need support from others - it really does take a village.
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Reaching out for help is important

Many parents struggle with their mental health during the perinatal period. This can be during pregnancy, after the birth of the baby, and up to one year postpartum.

Reaching out for help is important and can improve the overall well-being of your family. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have concerns about your mental health, you’re not alone. Help is available.

Explore the resources below and on this page as you feel ready:

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Local mental health support in Northern BC

Email us at HealthyStart@northernhealth.ca if you’re aware of local mental health support services available in your community that are not listed here, or if any of the information is incorrect.

All communities

Canadian Mental Health Association

Mental health and substance use programs

  • Northern Health provides a wide range of programs and services to assist persons and their family experiencing difficulties with mental health and/or substance use.
  • Website: Mental health and substance use – Northern Health

Northern Health and Virtual Primary and Community Care Clinic

  • Offers support around substance use treatment such as Opioid Agonist Therapy, or safer pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.
  • Phone: 1-844-645-7811
  • Website: Virtual Clinic – Northern Health

Primary and community care interprofessional teams

  • Primary care nurses offer telephone and in-person support to pregnant people and parents with a new baby. This includes screening for perinatal depression during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.
  • Families struggling with perinatal mental health issues may also be struggling with substance use. Primary care nurses offer screening for perinatal substance use and provide support and referrals for specialized care as needed.
  • Find a health unit or medical clinic close to you
  • Website: Primary and community care – Northern Health

Burns Lake

Prince George and District Elizabeth Fry Society

Prince George

Prince George and District Elizabeth Fry Society

Resources for families in Prince George

Quesnel

Canadian Mental Health Association – Quesnel services

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Mental health support in BC and Canada

310 Mental Health Support

BounceBack®: For adults and youth

  • Free program designed to help adults and youth 13 years and older with symptoms of mild to moderate depression, low mood, or stress, with or without anxiety.
  • Website: BounceBack® - Canadian Mental Health Association British Columbia

British Columbia Schizophrenia Society

  • Strengthening families together is a program that helps families support loved ones living with serious mental illness. 
  • Website: Strengthening families together - BC Schizophrenia Society

First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day

  • It is for all First Nations people living in BC and their family members, including family members who are not Indigenous.
  • Doctors are available by video or phone from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm every day for people who do not have a doctor or are unable to get an appointment.
  • Phone: 1-855-344-3800 to book an appointment
  • Website: First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day - First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)

Hope for Wellness Helpline

  • Available to all Indigenous people across Canada. 
  • Offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention by phone or online chat. You can start a confidential chat with a counsellor through the website. 
  • Toll-free: 1-855-242-3310 
  • Website: Hope for Wellness Helpline - Donna Cona

Pacific Post Partum Support Society

  • Telephone and text support for new and expecting parents coping with the profound life change that accompanies the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Weekly supports also available including peer support/psycho-educational groups, cognitive behavioral self-help skills, 2sQT group, and Indigenous support circles.
  • Toll-free: 1-855-255-7999
  • Text: 604-255-7999
  • Website: Pacific Post Partum Support Society

Reproductive Mental Health Services

  • Support for people and their families who are dealing with mental health challenges and disorders before, during and after pregnancy and birth.
  • Your doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner must refer you.
  • Phone: 604-875-2025
  • Website: Reproductive mental health services - BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

Suicide Crisis Helpline

Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society: Substance Use and Trauma Treatment Centre

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