CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre Welcomes New Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Worker to Support Families Across North Simcoe Muskoka

September 24, 2019  

Midland, Ontario – September 24, 2019 – Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre (CSC CHIGAMIK CHC) is pleased to announce that Melissa Maidment has joined CSC CHIGAMIK CHC in the role of Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Worker. Graduating with an honours degree in social work, Maidment has worked in various organizations and communities including Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care and in Nunavut as the community social worker. During her time in Nunavut, Maidment worked collaboratively with the Elders and community members on creating community engagement ceremonies to address concerns relating to mental health, addictions, intergenerational trauma, and youth engagement. She also provided counselling to youth and adults who struggled with mental health and addictions.

Maidment has extensive experience working with and supporting families and their children navigating through various systems such as Child Welfare, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and issues related to food insecurities, housing and affordable day care. Along with being a registered social worker, Maidment is also a full spectrum doula, supporting women and their partners through the fertility, pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum periods. In her current role at CSC CHIGAMIK CHC, Maidment specializes in perinatal mental health therapy to individuals and couples experiencing postpartum depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis.

Maidment has the ability to relate to clients on a personal level, having lived through a period of infertility and significant losses – all which contributed to struggles with postpartum depression, anxiety and PTSD.

“I have come full circle having lived through postpartum depression and now working as a perinatal mental health worker at CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre. My journey had many uphill battles and dark twists and turns, but when I started speaking my truth and leaning on others for support, I was able to start the climb of what seemed at times, an impossible mountain,” said Maidment. “There continues to be a stigma surrounding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and for fear of those stigmas, many individuals struggle alone. It takes a village to raise a child, but as a village we need not forget the person who birthed the child.”

In contrast to some mainstream or North American treatment models, the goal of the Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health program is to promote good mental health based on the medicine wheel. The program encompasses the whole person in mind, body and spirit, and focuses on being connected to family, community and nature.

Through the Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health program, expectant mothers and their families have access to mental, emotional and spiritual support, including:

  • Counselling
  • System navigation
  • Housing support
  • Baby/parenting supplies
  • Access to a dietitian and healthy food
  • Traditional Healing and ceremonies
  • Primary care
  • Indigenous Doula and Midwifery
  • Support groups

“We are delighted to welcome Melissa Maidment to CHIGAMIK. Her extensive knowledge of perinatal mental health coupled with her personal experiences will provide Indigenous parents and families across the region with access to culturally-relevant support when they need it most,” said David Jeffery, Executive Director, CSC CHIGAMIK CHC. “We look forward to working collaboratively with our community partners to navigate and enhance the care experience for Indigenous women and their families during this important stage of life.”

The Indigenous Perinatal Mental Health Program is free and available to anyone who self-identifies as First Nation, Métis or Inuit across North Simcoe Muskoka, on or off reserve.

A seven-week After Baby support group is starting on October 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at CSC CHIGAMIK CHC. For more information, to book a one-on-one appointment or to register for the After Baby support group, please contact Melissa Maidment at CSC CHIGAMIK CHC at 705-527-4154 x232. Referrals are not needed.

 

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About CSC CHIGAMIK CHC

Centre de santé communautaire CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre is a not-for-profit health care service funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. It offers bilingual and culturally sensitive care. It encourages persons who identify as First Nations, Francophone, Inuit, Métis or Aboriginal and live in North Simcoe Muskoka to register. For more information please visit www.chigamik.ca.

Media Contact:
Louise Picot
Communications
CSC CHIGAMIK CHC
705-606-1549
louise@louisepicot.com