Authors: Jacqui Coates-Harris, Joyce Leone
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, Transcultural Mental Health, Families & mental health, women, Waikato/Midland region
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Maternal Mental Health issues affect a large proportion of women in our community. At present there are no specifically funded services for this in the Waikato/Midland region. In order to address the needs of women, who experience difficulties with the event of childbirth/motherhood, informal/joint ventures have evolved. One such joint venture was established in Hamilton (1998), between the Medlab Family Centre and the Adult Mental Health Service, Health Waikato.
Medlab staff noted that there were increasing numbers of mothers attending the centre who were displaying signs of Post Natal Distress/Depression. These concerns were raised with staff at the Adult Mental Health Services. This resulted in the establishment of an informal consultation/liaison service.
The service is unique in its ability to meet the needs of clients in the least restrictive environment possible, i.e. Family Centre. From these informal mental health assessments, women are advised of appropriate coping strategies, or referred onto other appropriate services. After two years this empowering approach has enabled mothers to recognise what their difficulties are, learn new information and strategies for coping and take to control of their own health.