What is Infant Mental Health Awareness Week?

2017 is the second year of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (#IMHAW17). The campaign was launched on the 6th June 2016 (by the Parent Infant Partnership UK) and aims to open up the conversation about the importance of the first 1001 days: conception to age 2 period and how this can affect infant mental health. Infant mental health has a long standing history in the UK highlighting the importance of attachment and responsive, sensitive caregiving experiences for infant-family relationships beginning in the antenatal period.  2017 sees a second national week with the theme of pregnancy – Begin Before Birth.

The Importance of Infant Mental Health Awareness

Infant mental health challenges us as a society to reflect upon how well we are doing for children and in particular asks what experiences does a baby have being born in the UK. The first 1001 days: conception to age 2 period invites us as a society to improve the life chances of every baby and opens up a window of opportunity for early investment and improved future outcomes for children in the UK.

Why are the first 1001 days so important?

Pregnancy, birth and the first 24 months can be tough for every mother and father, and some parents may find it hard to provide the care and attention their baby’s needs. But it can also be a chance to affect great change, as pregnancy and the birth of a baby is a critical ‘window of opportunity’ when parents are especially receptive to offers of advice and support. The best chance to turn this around is during the 1001 critical days: conception to age two period. For more information on the importance of the first 1001 days, click here for information from the Parent Infant Partnership UK.

Useful Links and Support Available

If you are looking for support around you or your baby then you can find support through GPs, Maternity Services, Health Visitors, Children’s Centres, Paediatrics. For more information on the #IMHAW17 please click here to visit the website for the campaign. Or for information on Children and Families, Children’s Mental Health and local support services please click here to visit our Children and Families page.