Managing Depression: A Facilitator’s Guide for Working with Groups of Women Living with Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond

The Managing Depression Facilitator’s Guide is a resource that was designed to assist facilitators working with women who are living with depression during pregnancy, after delivery and beyond. It provides suggestions on how to deliver five, 2 hour group sessions on depression using the resource: Managing Depression: A Self-help Skills Resource for Women Living With Depression During Pregnancy, After Delivery and Beyond, herein after referred to as the Managing Depression: self-help skills resource.

This facilitator’s guide includes suggested activity plans, activities and support materials that will assist facilitators in guiding participants through the Managing Depression Group. It is recommended that the five sessions take place over five weeks or longer. This will allow participants the time to reflect on each session and to try the homework assignments.

The focus of each of the five sessions is:

• Session 1 – Understanding what depression is, what causes it and how to get help

• Session 2 – Exploring how to reactivate your life

• Session 3 – Exploring how to think realistically

• Session 4 – Exploring how to solve problems effectively

• Session 5 – Exploring how to reduce the risk of relapse

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Facilitators should advise the participants upon registration to bring a pen or pencil and their copy of the Managing Depression: self-help skills resource to each session. As the facilitator, you should read and be familiar with the Managing Depression: self-help skills resource before starting the group.

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Excerpt from the participant workbook:

Depression is one of the most painful and difficult human experiences.

If you’re living with depression, you may not have energy, interest in life, and/or the will to make things better. You may also have a negative view of yourself and the world. The future may seem hopeless.

Depression is especially devastating during pregnancy or while adjusting to motherhood.

Family and friends expect mothers to be happy. But when you’re living with depression, it may seem impossible to feel cheerful.

The good news is that you can get better and depression ends. Clinicians and service providers can support you in dealing with depression effectively with the use of depression management skills and medication. When depression isn’t severe, you can use the depression management skills in this resource, alone. When depression is more severe, you can use these skills and medication as part of your treatment plan. To know the severity of your depression and the best treatment option for you, see a doctor or psychologist.

In this resource, we describe three depression management skills. They are:

• Reactivating your life • Thinking realistically • Solving problems.

Your depression management plan may also include lifestyle changes. That’s why this resource includes information about the following topics:

• Healthy eating • Active living • Sleep • Caffeine • Drugs and alcohol.

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