What is infant mental health (IMH)?
Probably the most important period in someone’s life is the time they can’t remember. While infant mental health may sound odd and people often wonder how mental health issues can affect those so young, it helps us to think about a baby’s emotional well-being. Healthy first relationships are critical for a baby’s future mental health and development. If a baby feels safe and secure and experiences the world as a consistent, loving place, they will build a healthy brain and grow into a confident person who enjoys happy relationships.
Being pregnant and having a baby can be a special and memorable time in a parent’s life. But it can be a difficult time too. Different emotions, experiences and expectations can get in the way and affect how parents feel in themselves and how they feel about their baby. When extra support is needed, we can provide more intensive help to parents and their babies in these critical first two years of life.
Little Minds Matter Bradford Infant Mental Health service work in community health clinics, children’s centres and people’s homes across the Better Start Bradford areas, and work closely with health visitors, midwives, GPs, Better Start Bradford projects and other professionals.
Our team members are from a variety of backgrounds and include a clinical psychologist, parent-infant psychotherapist, family nurse partnership and health visitor background, parent-infant workers and significant experience of working in children’s centre’s. We have many years of experience in working with parents, babies and children. We have all had extra training in the field of early attachment and parent-infant relationships, and can offer a wide range of skills and approaches.
Who’s the service for?
The service is for expectant parents and those with a baby up to the age of two (24 months) living in the Better Start Bradford area. The service is for families where there are concerns or challenges with the parent-infant relationship. Difficulties in pregnancy, a traumatic birth or past parenting experiences, loss or bereavement, low mood or anxiety can all affect how parents feel about their baby and how they make sense of the world.
We also work with and support other professionals and staff in training around infant mental health awareness, clinical supervision and consultation.
Where and when is it delivered?
We may offer sessions either one-to-one or in a group. We will try and see you at a time and place that is most convenient to you and can include home visits or clinics elsewhere (for example children’s centres). We are available Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm.
How is the service accessed?
Your GP, midwife, health visitor, mental health practitioner or other healthcare, social or educational professional can refer you to the service. Speak to one of these professionals and let them know how you are feeling and that you want support.
For more information on the Little Minds Matter service view our leaflet.
The service will raise awareness of infant mental health with families, staff and the community and help prevent emotional problems escalating into much broader mental health issues that can have greater consequences for the child and their family unit in later life.
As well as offering direct clinical work, we will be offering training, supervision and consultation.
Contact: 01274 251298
We are based at Bowling Hall Medical Practice, Rooley Lane, Bradford, BD4 7SS.
Telephone advice is available Monday am (9am-11am), Tuesday pm (1pm-3pm), Wednesday pm (1pm-3pm) and Thursday am (9am-11am). We will endeavour to also be contactable outside of these hours but cannot guarantee availability.