Health officials have been able to determine that Stephanie Gamell, 22, who is the main suspect in the death of her grandmother, Angelica Agatha Gamell, 75, has a rare form of postpartum psychosis. To stem this phenomenon, the Ministry of Health has started including mental health evaluations in its postnatal checkup protocol all across the country.
In a recent, exclusive interview with They Break News, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Narine Singh described postpartum psychosis as an acute form of the mental condition that affects women who have given birth.
He acknowledged that in the case of Gamell, 22, the warning signs were missed, but the tragedy might have been avoided if she had received the assistance she required.
Dr. Singh added that the unfortunate incident has inspired the Ministry of Health to make sure that women can access the essential services.
” As part of the maternal and child health programme, mothers will now be reviewed for signs of postpartum depression when accessing postnatal checkups,” Dr. Singh stated.
According to him, as part of the new initiative, mothers will be questioned in detail in order to spot any potential signs of postpartum depression six weeks after giving birth. The Ministry will now need to devise strategies for interacting with women who fail to visit medical institutions for the advised postpartum checkups.
Meanwhile, Nicole Cole, a Social Worker also weighed in on the issue to emphasize how important it is for new mothers to have a good support network.
“Young mothers are not to be alone, there should be a support mechanism that monitors all women for postpartum depression and help to support their journey back to what we call normality,” she said.
Gamell is reportedly a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital’s psychiatric unit currently.
Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, thoughts of death, suicide, and hurting someone else are among the symptoms of post-partum depression. Women who also suffer from this type of depression may lose interest in or feel as though they are not developing a close bond with their children.
Guyana is home to an estimated 20,000 people who suffer from serious mental illness, and the rate of suicide among the youth population is on the rise.