Becoming a parent is an exciting time that brings many challenges affecting parents’ mental health. Illnesses such as postnatal depression, however, are not always recognized and treated. The proposal of the resolution 436 of the Flemish Parliament regarding timely detection and treatment of antenatal and postnatal depression has recommended raising the attention for emotional wellbeing of pregnant and postpartum women, to increase the knowledge of healthcare professionals and to implement adequate detection.
Aim and methodology
The PATH-project aims to prevent mild to moderate cases of perinatal mental health problems, specifically depression, and to support mothers and their families and to refer when necessary to appropriate services. The multidisciplinary project consists of six work packages, which include the development and evaluation of online and face-to-face interventions. Analyses are focused to provide cross-border similarities and differences regarding effects between control and intervention groups among various stakeholders like pregnant and postpartum women, their partners, healthcare professionals, peer-workers and employers. Outcomes include the prevalence of depression, stigma, help-seeking, public and professional awareness and parental attachment.
Partner organizations from four countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, France and The United Kingdom) will combine their existing diverse experience and knowledge in order to achieve the project objectives. The Health and Europe Centre is the lead partner in the PATH-project. Artesis Plantijn University College will execute the evaluation of the various work packages in collaboration with University of Antwerp.