Infant Mental Health Strategy

19/02/2019

The South Eastern HSC Trust has recently launched the Infant Mental Health Strategy at an event held in the Civic Centre in Lisburn.  The strategy provides a framework to guide, inform and review activity across a range of Health & Social Care services working to improve the social and emotional development of young children and families.

It aims to ensure a comprehensive approach to embed the principles of infant mental health across services and will promote a shared understanding across disciplines. The strategy can be viewed by clicking here.

Also at this event the ABC PiP service was launched.  This service has been developed through a strategic partnership between the South Eastern HSC Trust and Barnardo’s NI.  It is a unique service as the team is made up of multiagency and multidisciplinary members.  It delivers structured and therapeutic interventions during pregnancy and for parents whose children are aged 0-24 months. The aim of this is to strengthen relationships in the child’s early years, help form stronger bonds and to promote good infant mental health.  The service operates a key working model with families, and works collaboratively with them focusing on a strengths-based approach. The service operates throughout the South Eastern Trust area. 

Brendan Whittle, Director of Children’s Services and Executive Director of Social Work welcomed the launch of the strategy and the ABC PiP service and commented on the importance of the first 100 days of a child’s life.  He added “It is within this timeframe that a babies brain develops and is most active and therefore we must work together to ensure that the South Eastern HSC Trust supports parents to give every child the best start in life.  We are stronger when we do this together which is why the Trust is pleased to partner with Barnardos, Tiny Life, PiP UK and our wonderful staff and parents with lived experience.”