Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Toronto workshop to shed light on the darkness of postpartum depression


TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2004 – Postpartum depression (PPD) affects between 10 and 15 per cent of women regardless of age or socio-economic background. To better understand this illness, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence is hosting a workshop in Toronto Thursday, Sept. 30. During the workshop, Laurie McGill, a PPD survivor and Toronto mother of two, will share her personal stories with RNs working in community care access centres, public health units and hospitals across Ontario.

“I couldn’t believe how much I changed. I felt like I lost who I was,” McGill said of her experience with the illness. “It was like a black hole.”

McGill’s recent experience with postpartum depression fortunately led neither to tragedy nor headlines. She is passionate about sharing her story to increase awareness of the illness and to let others who have experienced anxiety and guilt -- feelings common to most women with this condition -- know they are not alone.

Hosted by three RNAO interest groups (the Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group, the Mental Health Nursing Interest Group and the Childbirth Nurses Interest Group), the workshop will examine:

  • How to recognize the signs of PPD
  • Best practices in the treatment of postpartum depression
  • Risk factors contributing to PPD
  • Where to find support and resources in the community

Dr. Wendy Ann Sword, associate professor, school of nursing, McMaster University, will lead the discussions. Sword is also a public-health consultant for the City of Hamilton and a Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care scientist. Her clinical background focuses on parent-child and community nursing, and her research interests include health and social services utilization, service accessibility, marginalized women and health promotion.

What: Workshop on Postpartum Depression: Recognizing the Signs, Community Support and Resolution

Hosted by RNAO’s Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence in partnership with RNAO’s Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group, Mental Health Nursing Interest Group, and Childbirth Nurses Interest Group

Who: Dr. Wendy Ann Sword, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University

Laurie McGill, postpartum depression survivor and Toronto mother of two

When: Thursday, Sept. 30, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Laurie McGill will speak between 1p.m. and 2:30p.m.

Where: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.


For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.209
Cell: 647-406-5605