Including Infants!

7th June 2021

This Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (7-13th June), the Southern Trust is reminding everyone who works with children and young people to consider the importance of babies’ social and emotional development.

Organised through the Parent-Infant Foundation, Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs every June. This year’s theme is ‘including infants in children and young people’s mental health.

David Douglas, Assistant Director for Family Support and Safeguarding Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust explains:

“Evidence clearly shows just how critical the first three years of a child’s life are in terms of their development. Early childhood experiences and relationships between the child and their parents have such a major impact on positive emotional and mental health throughout life.

“While being a parent is very rewarding it can also be demanding and some families can face additional challenges like premature births, domestic violence, mental health difficulties or drug and alcohol misuse.

“We want to ensure that all children have the best start in life by promoting positive, social and emotional wellbeing. That is why it is so important that services work together with families to prevent difficulties and provide support at the earliest possible stage when needed.

“Our goal this Infant Mental Health Awareness week is to encourage everyone to think and talk about infant, children and young people’s mental health and to consider how babies’ mental health needs can be met.”

“While the ongoing restrictions due to Covid-19 continue to present additional challenges, we have a range of services doing their best to support families to give their child the best start in life. We encourage anyone interested in infants, children and young people to follow us on social media throughout the week where some of our key early years services will be posting messages of support.”

For more information and support:

IMHAW – Parent-Infant Foundation

To view the Southern Area Infant Mental Health Strategy please click here

Visit www.cypsp.hscni.net/ebpp to access information on the range of parenting programmes available in the Southern Trust area

#IMHAW21           #IncludingInfants