26th March 2013
A new report (WAVE Trust Report with the Department of Education), with a plethora of evidence driving the need for health visitors to be better prepared to be able to support the development of infant mental health and address perinatal depression was launched on the 21st of March, 2013. iHV Director, Dr Cheryll Adams was delighted to be very closely involved with the development of this important evidence based report by WAVE Trust, and the Department for Education. It will serve as an addendum to the Government’s vision for the Foundation Years: Supporting Families in the Foundation Years. It serves to put down a strong marker about the importance of investing in the period pregnancy to two to lay down the foundations for future development and health and well being, in particular mental health. It highlights the importance of the health visitor role throughout, and in particular with respect to supporting attachment and promoting mental health in families Chapter 2.
It makes the case for a new universal assessment of parent/infant attachment for every child at 4 months and advises that where there are found to be difficulties attachment behaviour is reassessed at 12-15 months. It also emphasizes the importance of responding to perinatal depression, and the need for health visitors to have improved core training in all aspects of mental health promotion. What will be of real value to health visitors is the amount of detail and evidence in this report from which to inform and develop health visiting practice, and that of other workers in this crucial period of a child’s life.
You can see the full report here