Jaime Charlebois is the Regional Perinatal Mood Disorder Coordinator throughout North Simcoe Muskoka, working out of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. She is also a Regional Volunteer Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing and a Perinatal Nursing Certification from the Canadian Nurses Association. Jaime’s work experience includes 18 years of clinical nursing, 7 years of teaching and simulation, and 5 years in clinical leadership positions. She has collaborated at the local, provincial, and national level with multiple organizations and committees. Jaime suffered from untreated postpartum depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder 13 years ago. In her current position she uses her lived experience to advocate for equitable services and provides education/training to local health care and social service providers who support families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Over the past 10 years, Sara Beckel has been working as a labour doula and has attended close to 100 births in the Queen City. After the birth of her second daughter, Sara experienced postpartum depression and it has since fueled her passion to improve maternal wellness for new mothers, creating easier access to treatment and support. Even as a labour doula, she was unaware of the true depth of the illness and how it can impact the entire family unit until she walked down the path herself. That dark time was excruciating yet powerful all rolled in too. Her battle with postpartum depression has given her the lived experience she needs to truly understand what women are going through and work towards ensuring mothers no longer suffer in silence like she did. Sara is also an active maternal mental health advocate throughout Saskatchewan and across the country and uses her lived experience with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders to continue raising awareness and reduce the stigma that surrounds the illness.
Patricia Tomasi is a journalist and mom of two who decided to focus on perinatal mental health after suffering from prenatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder – twice. She has written for HuffPost Canada as well as other publications about the state of perinatal mental health in Canada and around the world. Patricia is the face of the popular Maternal Mental Health Matters Facebook and Instagram online community. Be sure to join her private Facebook Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Support Group where she hosts a weekly Live Q&A show with perinatal mental health experts.