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iCAMHS – Infant Mental Health

Infant mental health can be defined as the focus on social and emotional development and wellbeing during the first three years of life for an infant and their family. This includes a child’s ability to form relationships with other children and adults, to recognise and express emotions and to explore and learn about their environment in a safe and happy way allowing them to thrive.

For healthy attachment and subsequently healthy social and emotional development the ideal time frame for infants is between the ages of 0-3 years.  It is during this time of rapid brain growth that brain development is in its peak. It should be noted however that these factors begin before birth during the antenatal stage. It is during this time that the choices and experiences of the expecting mother can have significant impact upon both infant and maternal social and emotional health. Bonding with bump is strongly promoted along with preparing for parenthood and good mental health.

The quality of relationship between a child and their primary caregiver is central to this process which will have an impact on positive healthy development and mental health throughout life. We know that warm, consistent, positive, and engaged parenting in a safe and secure environment enables the infant to grow into a child and adult who is more likely to have high self-esteem; strong psychological resilience, empathy and trust; the ability to learn; and reduced risk of adopting unhealthy lifestyle choices.

This is why investing in the emotional well-being of our babies is a wonderful way to invest in the future! (First 1001 days of movement).

ICAMH’s within the Southern Trust was founded in 2012. It is a step-2 therapeutic service offered to parents/caregivers who wish to engage in support to develop their bond with their infant whom must be between the ages of 0-3years. The concerns presenting must be impacting on the development of the relationship between parent / care giver and the infant. Parent-infant relationships can be impacted upon by increased stress levels, past parenting experiences, ACE’s, birth trauma, separation, parental mental health issues or the infant’s health and development. The service is available to parents / care givers and infants who live within the southern trust area.

A range of specialist interventions are offered to families which comprise of the Solihull Approach, systemic practice, cognitive methods, psychoanalytical theory, child development theory, infant observations, video interaction guidance (VIG), behaviour therapy, social stories, Sleep Scotland, person centred interventions along with educative workshops. Families who have engaged with I-CAMHS have shared their positive feedback which includes;

  • Improved parent infant relationships
  • Improved mental well-being in infants and their parents
  • Improved family functioning
  • Increased knowledge and guidance around the infant’s physical and emotional well-being.

Consultation is offered to requesting professionals to allow case discussion and potential referral to the ICAMHS team.

Infant mental health training is also provided to requesting teams within the Southern Trust.

Referrals are accepted on the I-CAMHS referral form, from any health professional and all referrals must be sent via CAMHS Referral Coordination within the CAMHS Team.

  • Bocombra Lodge, 2 Old Lurgan Road, Portadown, BT63 5SG
  • Telephone: (028) 38392112
  • Email:

iCAMHS celebrates 10 years

TitleDate addedDownload
i-CAMHS Referral Form for group workshops31-01-2024 Download
i-CAMHS Referral Form 202331-01-2024 Download
Workshop poster31-01-2024 Download
I CAMHS LEAFLET 202316-01-2024 Download

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