Help at hand with infant mental health

News

Raising a child is undoubtedly one of the hardest and most important jobs you can have.

From birth the challenges are overwhelming as adult life is fraught with sleepless nights, increased time demands, relationship changes and never-ending stages of baby’s growth to add to the sense of chaos.

At this time, the relationship between parents and their young ones can be strained – the exact same time when development of a child’s emotional, physical and mental health is critical.

But help is at hand.

In 2016 UK charity Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) recognised the anguish of the situation and sought to increase the understanding of policy makers, professionals and parents about why giving every baby the best possible start in life matters to the life chances of children and families.

It launched ‘Infant Mental Health Awareness Week’ in recognition of the importance of infant (and family) mental health, and Australia followed suit the next year.

In launching the initiative, PIP chair, Clair Rees said, “Good mental health begins in early childhood. When a baby has the opportunity to form a secure bond with their parent or caregiver, this can support their potential and ability to form healthy relationships throughout life”.

Research evidence now confirms a direct link between difficulties in infant parent-child bonding or attachment, and psychiatric disorders in later life.

Healthcare professionals now have a greater understanding of the issue and more resources are available to help parents ensure they can provide the best possible springboard in life for their children.

Connect Health & Community is one of many community health organisations providing counselling, paediatric psychology and supported playgroups to help families and their children meet life’s challenges with personalised guidance and support.

The Australian Association for Infant Mental Health also provides a range of resources and support for new parents dealing with the changes in their lives, and among it insights, offers the following ‘correspondence’ from the newest member of the household.

https://www.aaimhi.org/resources/letter-from-your-baby/

If you would like assistance dealing with mental health challenges for yourself or your child, call Connect Health & Community today on 03) 9575 5333

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