HOPE improves the emotional health of expectant and new mothers by providing e-screening, e-referral and e-therapy within a single tool and connecting users with healthcare professionals in a timely manner. The app is being developed in collaboration with Dr. Dawn Kingston and her team at the University of Calgary. Dr. Kingston and her team are passionate about helping women and their families have the best start to life by improving maternal mental health. Dawn is Canada’s only endowed research chair in perinatal mental health and .she also holds the prestigious national New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Improving Maternal Mental Health
Gain Understanding and Get Help
Checking for emotional health problems is not part of a regular prenatal visit as a typical appointment focuses on physical pregnancy health, identifying potential complications, and the health of the baby. Furthermore, long wait times and low availability of psychological services can deter expectant mothers from seeking help even when they may have questions or concerns about their emotional health.
Tear Down Barriers
Dr. Kingston’s mission is to help women own their emotional health and in her research she is advancing the understanding of the barriers that pregnant women face in addressing their mental healthcare. A clear role for technology and e-health tools in mental health screening and treatment has been identified and studied.
Empowerment Through Self Management
Using a system of proprietary algorithms HOPE is designed as a single point of online care that:
- Screens women for depression and anxiety;
- Connects users to appropriate healthcare professionals nearby;
- Acts as an adaptive health assistant to help them prioritize activities to improve mental health; and
- Delivers interactive online therapy
Pioneering Treatment in Perinatal Mental Health
To date, a few online cognitive behavioural therapy interventions have been created and tested in postpartum women; however, none have been designed as an early intervention to target pregnant women. The HOPE app is the first intervention of its kind to integrate e-screening, a referral process that uses a computerized algorithm to match users with the most optimal support option, and delivers online therapy.