Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Mental Health Care Pathway

The Nova Scotia Care Pathway for the Management of Perinatal Mental Health and Addictions was developed in conjunction with Nova Scotia’s Mental Health and Addictions, Reproductive Mental Health teams, and the authors of the Primary Care Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit- Primary Care Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit. The pathway has been adapted with permission from Ontario’s Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health’s document (Care Pathway for the Management of Perinatal Mental Health-Perinatal Mental Health – PCMCH).

The resource is part of a Perinatal Mental Health and Wellness Quality Initiative. This program and creation of the resource is under the leadership of Crystal Trull BNSc RN PNCC. The quality initiative successfully operates out of South Shore Regional Hospital and provides support to individuals living in the Western Zone of Nova Scotia. The resource has been adapted for provincial use and is intended to be used as a tool that provides a recommended approach for screening, identification, assessment, treatment, and monitoring for the perinatal population who are struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, grief/loss, addictions, and family violence.

This resource guides care providers with:

  • Identifying pregnant or postpartum patients who may be experiencing mental health issues,
  • Assessing the severity of their symptoms,
  • Determining the appropriate care and/or treatment, and
  • Following individuals through their care journey to ensure that their mental healthcare needs are being met.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions for additional resources specific to your provincial zone that you wish to add to the tool to Crystal Trull at

Primary Care Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit

The Dalhousie University Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine have collaborated to create the Primary Care Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit. This resource is meant to help primary care providers assess and treat mental health concerns in the pregnancy and postpartum periods using the Bio-Psycho-Social theory of understanding and managing mental health problems.

There are simple triangle workplan sheets for assessment and a connected action plan for both the health practitioner and the patient/family/supports to use. The Toolkit also includes a collection of resources, explorations & strategies for patients and their families to use. A brief “How To Guide” has also been developed to support care providers with the use of the Toolkit.