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Navigating the Emergency Department: What You Need to Know During a Mental Health Crisis

I'm blessed to partner with my friend Kyleigh Dunn for this series on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and the emergency room. These articles are featured on her blog, The Sorrows of Eve where she provides resources and encouragement broadly for the church and more intimately for the moms who are struggling.

If this is you, don't hesitate to reach out to the crisis helpline, call 9-8-8 (in both Canada and the USA) .

Here's Part 2.


Understanding the supports and services of the emergency department can be helpful, especially when you, or your loved ones, determine it's necessary. You likely feel afraid and ashamed, but remember "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1); continue holding to him in your crisis.

What Happens at the ER?

Coming to the ER doesn't necessarily mean you will be admitted to a psych ward.

I think that's a common fear women have. As health care professionals, we do take postpartum depression very seriously because there are so many stressors moving into motherhood and without supports in place it can deteriorate quickly. This isn't intended to scare you; it's simply the reason why it's important to seek treatment.

The stats show that while 1 in 4 women experience postpartum depression, at most 2 in 1,000 will experience postpartum psychosis. This tells us it's not a common occurrence, but it is possible and something we want to prevent. In my eighteen years of nursing, I have seen this a handful of times. Thankfully, psychosis is treatable with medications and our patients improve, often quickly with intervention.

Please remember, we know you are doing the best you can, by seeking help, you are doing what’s best for your family, including your baby.


Previously on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs)



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