Manitoba mothers who are dealing with postpartum depression can now find relevant information and resources on a new website created by parents.
The Postpartum Depression Association of Manitoba launched its website on Monday, offering information about the illness, support and treatment, as well as emergency phone numbers for those in crisis.
Upwards of 15 per cent of new mothers in the province experience feelings of anxiety and depression shortly after giving birth, according to the group, which consists of mothers and health-care providers.
Nellie Kennedy, the association's co-founder, said she experienced postpartum depression after both her children were born.
Many new mothers struggle with postpartum depression in silence, Kennedy said.
"It's very difficult and you don't want to talk about it because you think, like, 'How could I be feeling these things? This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life,'" she told CBC News.
'One-stop shop' of resources
Kennedy said neither she nor her husband could find any local information online, so she and other mothers created the association to create a "one-stop shop" of existing resources that were previously difficult to access.
"It was a really difficult thing for us. We searched for information," she said.
"You know, you had to go to several different websites. There wasn't anything to do specifically with Manitoba resources that were available."
The group worked closely with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to make sure the information being posted on the website is appropriate, up-to-date and accessible for families.
The issue of postpartum mental health was highlighted last year by the deaths of Lisa Gibson and her two children in Winnipeg.
The body of Gibson, 32, was recovered from the Red River on July 28, 2013, days following the deaths of her two-year-old daughter and three-month-old son.
Police later declared the deaths as a homicide/suicide case. Postpartum depression was one of the factors police said they were looking at during their investigation, but they have never commented on Gibson's mental state.