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Perinatal Mental Health Care Pathway and Guidance Document

Perinatal mental health refers to a person’s mental health during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is estimated that up to 20 per cent of pregnant and postpartum people struggle with their mental health. Maintaining mental health is an important part of one one’s overall well-being, especially for pregnant and postpartum individuals. Untreated mental health problems in this population can have profound negative impacts on the parent, child and family. In July 2021, PCMCH released a Care Pathway for the Management of Perinatal Mental Health and accompanying Guidance Document. These documents aim to support healthcare providers’ understanding about how to identify those who are pregnant or postpartum who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health, assess the severity of their symptoms, determine an appropriate care or treatment that corresponds to need, and follow individuals through their care journey to ensure that their mental healthcare needs are being met.

The Care Pathway includes five steps, described in more detail in the documents below:


Download and review the Care Pathway and Guidance Document here:

Care Pathway for the Management of Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal Mental Health: Guidance for the identification and management of mental health in pregnant or postpartum individuals




On Nov. 24, 2021, PCMCH hosted a webinar titled Starting the Conversation: Perinatal Mental Health to support healthcare providers in their understanding and awareness of the delivery pf mental healthcare to pregnant and postpartum people in Ontario. An esteemed panel of speakers presented on the context and prevalence of perinatal mental illness in Ontario, the intended use and objectives of the Care Pathway tool, case study examples to support its application and knowledge translation implications and implementation considerations.

Watch the recording here


To support the application of the Care Pathway, there are additional recommended resources linked in both the Care Pathway and accompanying Guidance Document. The care pathway does not replace individualized assessment, and clinical judgment is required to ensure safe, effective, equitable and inclusive treatment. Healthcare providers must tailor the treatment approach to meet individuals’ unique needs in all their diversity.


Your feedback is important! PCMCH is dedicated to improving the usability of the Care Pathway tool and the accompanying Guidance Document. We encourage healthcare providers using the tool to submit feedback via an online survey by scanning the QR code on the Care Pathway or clicking the link online here.

For additional information, please contact