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Brief Description/Purpose

The Ottawa Hospital’s Perinatal Mental Health Program offers specialized psychiatric support to people who are planning pregnancy, are pregnant, or who have given birth in the past year, and who have existing or suspected mental health issues. We offer services including consultations for people who are considering pregnancy, group therapy, and limited one-to-one support for urgent matters like people experiencing intimate partner violence, recent refugees with PTSD, or people considering termination or giving their baby up for adoption due to their mental illness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also offer a virtual support group, called “Pregnancy in a Pandemic”, on how to maintain mental health during a pandemic. You must be registered to deliver with The Ottawa Hospital and have access to MyChart to attend the Pregnancy in a Pandemic group sessions.

How to Obtain Referral/Access Service

Referrals are only currently accepted from any physician, nurse practitioner, or midwife that is affiliated with The Ottawa Hospital. Please ask your birthing provider if they qualify for program referrals.

Program Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria 

Inclusion Criteria  Exclusion Criteria  
·  Pregnant women over the age of 16 or 11 months postpartum  
·  Reason for referral: Prevention, new onset, or recurrence of depression, mania, psychosis, anxiety disorders in the context of anticipated pregnancy, current pregnancy/postpartum  
·  Complicated perinatal bereavement (up to one year after delivery)  
·  Referrals for adoptions (from 40 weeks pre-adoption and for babies up to 11 months of age)  
·  Referral submitted by a TOH-affiliated physician, nurse  practitioner, midwife OR re-referral of a previously seen patient by their community physician for a subsequent pregnancy OR TOH psychiatrist requesting additional support during pregnancy/postpartum  
·  Valid Health Insurance: OHIP, out of province provincial health insurance (excluding Quebec), who have recently moved to the Ottawa region and are awaiting their 3-month approval of OHIP, valid Interim Federal Health Insurance, valid Medavie Blue Cross coverage with The Department of National Defence
· Patient residing within Champlain LHIN (with occasional exceptions for extended geographic regions)
 ·  Patient is NOT currently pregnant or is over 1 year postpartum (exception- one-time consults for pre-pregnancy medication consults)
·  Invalid or NO Health Care Insurance *RAMQ or self-pay (e.g. from foreign countries) is notaccepted.  
·  Currently followed by Community Psychiatrist  
·  Primary referral reason: coping with infertility, PMDD, perimenopausal symptoms, SUD, personality disorder, eating disorder, trauma therapy, parenting capacity assessment  
·  Fathers with postpartum depression

Contact Information

The Ottawa Hospital Perinatal Mental Health Program, General Campus
501 Smyth Road
Ottawa, On
Phone: 613-798-5555 ext. 78101
Fax: 613-737-8115
General Inquiries:

Program Director: Dr. Jasmine Gandhi  

Last updated on: June 24th, 2022