Pacific Post Partum Support Society is a small, non-profit charitable organization that has been providing mental health and emotional support to new parents and families since 1971. The program started as a grass roots initiative when a small group of mothers began meeting at the Vancouver Crisis Line office to share their experiences and support each other.
At the time, our peer support model of care was a new approach to addressing the issues of postpartum depression, and is one that has since influenced changes in postpartum support. Over the years, our programs have expanded and shifted based on the needs of the communities we serve.
Today, we support anyone who is experiencing isolation, distress, or a PMAD in the perinatal period or is supporting someone who is. This includes pregnant people, new parents, mothers, fathers, partners, non-gestational parents, surrogates, adoptive parents, foster parents, and people who have experienced perinatal or infant loss. We receive over 6000 calls to our support line per year, and that number continues to grow. If you are pregnant, have a child under the age of 3, have recently been pregnant, or have experienced loss, we are available to support you.
Our mission is to end the isolation and distress experienced by many parents and families with the profound life change that accompanies the birth or adoption of a child.
We believe that postpartum depression or anxiety is a multi-dimensional problem, with social factors such as discrimination and oppression, isolation, lack of child-care, and the stressful nature of mothering/parenting playing important contributing roles.
We believe that through mutual aid and emotional support, women and parents are empowered to engineer their own recovery and to learn skills of self-care which encourage healthy life choices for themselves and their families.
We believe that it is healing for a woman/parent with postpartum depression and/or anxiety to share their experiences, in confidence, and to receive non-judgmental support and understanding from those who have resolved, or who are in the process of resolving, their own depression.
Our staff are passionate, dedicated, and committed to supporting new parents and families in the perinatal period. All of our staff are parents, and many have experienced a tough adjustment to parenthood. You can learn more about our staff here
We have a volunteer Board of Directors. Our board is an active part of our Society and is made up of people who have a keen interest in perinatal mental health and are committed to supporting our mission. If you are interested in joining our board, see our Support PPPSS page. You can learn more about our board members here.
Without our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do. Volunteers offer their strengths, skills, and time to support us in many areas of our work. To learn more, check out our volunteer page.
Our partners and funders are instrumental in supporting us to realize our mission. We have ongoing partnerships with various organizations, including BC Reproductive Mental Health programs, community family drop-in centers, community public health nurses, general practitioners, registered clinical counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, BC Midwives, and Postpartum Doulas.
Our funding support comes from a wide variety of sources, including government agencies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors/members. We are grateful for this ongoing support and thank each of our donors for their contribution to our Society. If you are interested in partnering with us or supporting us financially, see our For Care Providers and Support PPPSS pages.
Our staff members are the life of PPPSS. They are passionate and dedicated, and believe new parents and families should receive the support they deserve.
COUNSELLOR AND GROUP FACILITATOR
MANAGER OF ADMINISTRATION
BOARD TREASURER AND SECRETARY
BOARD DIRECTOR, PAST TREASURER
Pacific Post Partum Support Society is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷiy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Stó:lō First Nations.
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200-7342 Winston St. Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 2H1
604-255-7955 [email protected]
Counsellor and Group Facilitator
Shealagh first made contact with PPPSS when she was struggling in silence as a new mother. After seeing a brochure, she called in and ended up speaking with Sheila.That one phone call made a huge impact in her recovery and gave her insight into her condition. This inspired her to join PPPSS in 1998 as a counsellor and group facilitator. She is also a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN) with personal coaching experience, and is currently training in menopausal support. Staff count on Shealagh for her grounded presence in the office and in her work.
Rita joined PPPSS in 2008. She has worked at the Crisis Line and at the Justice Institute of BC in family conflict resolution. Rita first developed an interest in women’s health while working at the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, and this experience led to an instant connection with the work being done by PPPSS. She works as a group facilitator, phone counsellor, and outreach educator. Rita is willing to slide into wherever she is needed, and is a steady, dependable team member.
Manager of Administration
Kate currently works for the Provincial Health Services Authority in Mental Health Services at BC Children’s Hospital where she is responsible for the management of projects leading to improved quality of patient care and evaluation of projects and programs. She is a social worker by profession and worked directly with children and families before moving into healthcare management. Supporting children and their families, particularly in challenging circumstances, has been a career-long interest. One of her early posts at BC Children’s Hospital was on the Reproductive Mental Health team, during which time she developed a great working relationship with PPPSS. No longer in that post but still passionately interested in supporting moms and their babies, Kate joined the PPPSS board in 2016.
Board Treasurer and Secretary
Montana is passionate about the issues faced by today’s parents, particularly the challenges experienced by mothers in the postpartum period. She previously served for three years as the treasurer of an arts and culture charity. Montana is the mother of two young boys and works as a chartered professional accountant (CPA) in the tax group of a mid-sized public accounting firm in Vancouver. As a graduate of both Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, Montana had diverse academic interests including linguistics, psychology, music, and dance. When not at work, Montana enjoys spending her time with family, baking, cooking, and bullet journaling.
Dan brings over 20 years of technical and proven management experience to his role on the board of PPPSS. A diverse software professional, Dan’s background has taken him from developing the CanadaArm2 for the International Space Station, to working for various companies, currently as the Vice President of Engineering at a mid-sized software company in Vancouver. Dan has been working with PPPSS over the past year on IT-related issues and projects, including the procurement and rollout of the iCarol-based SMS support platform. Dan is a husband and father of three daughters, and is honoured to be able to give back to an important organization like PPPSS.
Board Director, Past Treasurer
Ruth was recruited in 1990 for an office support volunteer position by her mother, Shauna Little, who was Treasurer of the Board at the time. Ruth later became Treasurer of the Board herself, and has been PPPSS’s book sales volunteer, office bookkeeper, and Go-For for several years.
Catherine first encountered PPPSS in 2008 as she struggled with acute anxiety and depression following the birth of her two sons. She credits the incredible support of PPPSS for saving her sanity and—quite possibly—her life. Ever since then, she has been looking for a way to pay this support forward. Catherine is passionate about ending the stigma of mental illness and advocating for wellness, mental health and-self care. Having lived with mental illness for many years, she brings a lived experience to her role. She is also grateful to be involved with another not-for-profit organization, Heads Up Guys, which supports men with mental health issues. With a background in international business and conference planning, Catherine hopes to fundraise for PPPSS and generally support the organization in any way she can. Her current self-care practice involves her new love of paddle boarding and yoga, and she gets outside in nature whenever she can.
Caitlin works as a registered midwife in Vancouver and was also recently certified as a lactation consultant. She has frontline experience with the challenges new parents face in the weeks following a birth. This is a time when families need a lot of support and, especially in light of the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Caitlin wanted to get involved by supporting the work of PPPSS. When she’s not working, Caitlin is busy with her toddler and enjoys spending time with family and friends.