Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Workshop to shed light on the darkness of postpartum depression


ST. CATHARINES, Feb. 11, 2004 – To help registered nurses and other health-care professionals better understand postpartum depression (PPD), an illness that affects between 10 and 16 per cent of mothers from every age group and socio-economic background, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence is hosting a workshop in St. Catharines on Thursday, Feb. 12.

"PPD has negative consequences for the woman, her infant, and other family members," says Dr. Wendy Sword, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University. "Yet for various reasons it is often overlooked by new mothers and their care providers."

Sword will lead the workshop discussions, along with health-care colleagues from the Niagara Region. Sword is also a public health consultant for the City of Hamilton Social and Public Health Services Division. Her clinical background is in clinical parent-child and community nursing and her research interests include health and social services utilization, service accessibility, marginalized women and health promotion.

“Many sufferers of PPD experience a range of negative emotions and see no end to their darkness," explains Sword, adding that early recognition of this disease is important. "It is vital we educate expectant women, family and friends about the disease and let new mothers with PPD know they are not alone."

Developed by RNAO’s Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence in partnership with 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
  • How to involve family and friends
  • Where to find support and resources in the community

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, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University

Margaret Fairman, RN, BN, psychiatric nurse, manager, Perinatal Mood Disorders Clinic, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Hamilton

Mona Kang, pharmacist, Niagara Health System

Pilar Chapman, registered midwife, Niagara Midwifery Practice

Wendy Palermo, survivor of Postpartum Depression

Catharine Kennedy, RN, BScN, public health nurse, Regional Niagara Public Health Department

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 12, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Pond Inlet Room, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Ave., St. Catharines, ON.


Please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209