Learn how to offer effective support to new and expecting parents
During pregnancy and the year after birth, many women can be affected by mood changes, anxiety disorders, and depression. Women report that a key barrier to seeking help is the lack of perinatally-informed treatments and practitioners.
On this course, you will understand the symptoms of postnatal or postpartum depression, how to support clients, and improve their mental health and wellbeing. You will identify the patterns that contribute to the depression cycle and explore how to combat them with coping strategies. This will help your clients stay well during the perinatal period and beyond.
This course is designed for current healthcare professionals or those training to provide perinatal support or mental health care services. It is also beneficial for maternity, general practice, and supervised lay and peer support workers.
Rui Ma completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease(https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression). The sudden...
Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease(https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression). The sudden drop of hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels in women’s body and physical exhaustion after giving birth can make women vulnerable to postpartum depression(PPD). Around 10% to 15% of women in economically developed countries may experience PPD in the first year after giving birth. And PPD rates in some undeveloped areas can reach 65% or more among new mothers. Half of men with PPD partners will develop depression themselves. The more horrible thing is that at least 50% of PPD cases go undiagnosed.
Since the first awareness of PPD in the late 1980s, there have been 289,000 records of related articles returned by Google Scholar about the prevalence, risk factors and successful treatment. However, healthcare support and education for PPD is limited all over the world. Low social awareness of PPD may prevent women and their families from gaining a scientific understanding and more severely, exacerbate the stigma and discrimination. Rates of help-seeking among women with PPD remain low due to their strong fear of being judged.
The emergence of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is hopeful to fill the gap by improving PPD social awareness, reducing stigma, providing self-help screening and intervention guidance.
Here is a course Addressing Postnatal Depression as a Healthcare Professional provided by an academic clinical psychologist at the University of Exeter on FutureLearn. It starts by introducing the “depression cycle” concept with 3 practical exercises to help understand potential PPD risks and symptoms. It then goes a little bit more in-depth in identifying the patterns of PPD, TRAPs(Triggers, Reactions, Avoidance Patterns), and comparing two mindsets “inside-out” and “outside-in”. Also, it provides an exercise model for self-help PPD pattern identification. Naturally, the following is focuses on how to break this TRAP pattern and turn TRAPs into TRACs(Triggers, Reactions, Alternative Coping). Without any doubt, the alternative coping strategy is a key to this transforming and as a learner commented in the discussion forum, that is also the hardest part for women with PPD to address. Even though, the course emphasizes two points: good communication and asking for support. 2 exercises on planning good communications is suggested for the communication part. Finally, it sums all these together and encourages people to compare these two patterns after they experience TRAPs and then try TRACs with a "self-help booklet for postnatal depression".
This MOOC sheds light on the hidden pattern of PPD and provides practical thought limited approaches to address it. Due to its accessibility, MOOC has the potential to reach more people and improve the social awareness and screening of PPD, and finally reduce the adverse effects on women and their families. In the future, more scientific researches on MOOC-based healthcare education need to be done to evaluate the impact. If possible, the primary care system could take the best of MOOCs in preventing diseases and promoting population wellbeing.