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Healthc Policy. 2012 Nov;8(2):46-55.

MotherFirst: developing a maternal mental health strategy in Saskatchewan.

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Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.


Up to 20% of women experience maternal mental health problems, but most jurisdictions lack policy for prevention, identification and treatment. To address this gap, a multi-stakeholder working group formed in Saskatchewan, Canada. As a result, the MotherFirst project emerged to create policies to improve the mental healthcare of mothers and to increase public and professional awareness. This paper critically analyzes the project using a policy cycle framework that can inform similar policy development. It explores the strengths of diverse partnerships, relationship building and public awareness campaigns, and the challenges that were encountered in the decision-making and implementation stages.

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