Conference on post-natal depression in Gozo
I have a baby...why am I unhappy? was the theme of a conference aimed at increasing awareness on post-natal depression. This conference was organised by the Gozo Mental Health Association with the collaboration of the Ministry for Gozo and was held at the Xewkija Primary School.
During the opening speech, the Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo, expressed her gratitude to this Association which today has become a valid focal-point with regard to mental health in Gozo. She explained how the Ministry for Gozo will continue supporting this Association to further ensure a better standard of living in Gozo. This is also important in the context of the ecoGozo Vision where sustainability is reached through a holistic approach which aims at a higher standard of living.
Dr Anton Grech, Chairman for the State Psychiatric Services introduced the conference programme which included Midwife Josephine Cefai who talked about the biological change before and after birth, Psychiatrist Dr Ethel Felice who talked about the post-natal depression and its impact on the person and family, as well as Dr. Rita Borg Xuereb, Head of the Midwifery Department within the Faculty of Health Sciences who talked about mental health during and after pregnancy. Another intervention was by Ms Nancy Portelli, a social worker at Dar Guzeppa Debono and from two mothers who shared their own experience regarding post-natal depression. Ms Pauline Camilleri, President of the Gozo Mental Health Association concluded the conference.
This programme also included an artistic contemporary dance related to the subject by Ms Melanie Zammit accompanied by painter Paul Falzon.
In the two years from its foundation, the Gozo Mental Health Association organised various activities, amongst which a conference on mental health of children and adolescents, a prevention programme for children attending years four, five and six in primary schools, the dissemination of information on mental health in various squares and commercial centres in Victoria and the screening of the film A Beautiful Mind followed by a discussion on the subject at hand. The Association also distributed an information booklet related to mental health and other general information in each Gozitan household.