Birmingham and Solihull residents encouraged to use local parent resources for infant mental health

Inaugural Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (IMHAW) 13 to 19 June, seeks to highlight the importance of babies’ mental health as well as the surrounding issues that affect it.

This year’s theme shines a spotlight on ‘understanding early trauma’. The campaign will explain how childhood experiences can and do have a significant impact on a child’s adult life. A new short film explains what early trauma is, the impact it can have and the significance of early relationships.

Birrmingham City Council and Solihull Council, alongside key health partners have merged together to bring a wealth of resources, information and events to help support local parents and carers to build stable, loving and healthy relationships with infants over the first 1001 days of a child’s life (from early pregnancy to age 2).

These include resources such as Five to Thrive, which shows parents how they can enjoy every stage of their child’s life from pregnancy to five years. Solihull residents can book onto Five to Thrive workshops by contacting 0121 301 2773 or bsmhft.parenting@nhs.net

Parents or carers of new babies in Birmingham will be receiving free Look, Say, Sing Play flash cards and advice from their health visitor about simple ways to interact with their babies that don’t cost money or take a lot of time. This has been launched in Northfield already and will be available across the city later this year. In the meantime parents or carers are encouraged to sign up for free weekly emails via NSPCC website   

ICON, helps people who care for babies to cope with crying and Solihull Approach (for Birmingham and Solihull residents) has online courses to help residents gain a better understanding of their baby, child and teenager, with tips to manage their behaviour. If you live in Solihull use the code APPLEJACKS if you live if Birmingham use the code COMMUNITY.

Solihull Parenting Team, can provide face to face and virtual parenting support including help with infant mental health. Their dedicated team can be contacted on 0121 301 2773. Families in Birmingham can contact Birmingham Forward Steps  There is also the Parent-Infant Foundation, a well-established website with information and resources for parents to download and use.

Cllr Karen McCarthy, Cabinet Member for Children Young People and Families, said:

“I am delighted with the range of activities and online events that will be promoted during infant mental health week.  It will certainly be most welcome to parents and carers as we emerge from the Covid19 pandemic.  This week will promote a wealth of online resources that parents, and carers can easily access to support their little ones in their development.   Providing some useful tips and small interventions which make a significant positive impact on infant development and wellbeing.”

Cllr Tony Dicicco, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Solihull Council commented:

“As a father myself I understand the challenges being a parent brings. From the moment your new baby comes home, you suddenly realise you are responsible for every aspect of this little person’s life and that you don’t have a manual to explain how to do it! Combine this with juggling work and other responsibilities it can seem overwhelming.


 


“I’m therefore pleased to see that there is work being done not just at a Solihull level but a regional one to help support parents and caregivers, particularly with a focus on those tricky, but critically important early years.


 


“I hope residents take the opportunity to explore the local services and iformation available to them.”

Organisations providing support include Solihull Council’s Parenting Team, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Forward Steps, Birmingham, and Solihull  Local Maternity and Neonatal System, Acacia, Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and Forward Thinking Birmingham.

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