The root causes of mental health problems can often be traced to adversity in childhood or adolescence, but the effects can have a life-long impact on well-being and the ability to live a satisfying and productive life throughout adulthood.

iHV welcomes Mental Health Policy Commission: Investing in a Resilient Generation report which sets out the evidence base around the factors that can impact on young people’s mental health.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV commented:

“This is a very timely and helpful piece of work emphasising the huge benefits to NHS spending from investing in prevention of mental illness in the very early years, and in schools. We really hope that local authorities will take note of its recommendations and reconsider any more cuts planned to health visitor services. Savings can be made in different ways and this document makes clear that cutting preventative services creates a significant burden of expenditure that must be picked up later by public services.

“It is time to be brave and invest for tomorrow, not today, giving more children a bright future by supporting them as babies and infants when supportive interventions for families have the most powerful impact on their mental wellbeing. The toll of mental illness is now so significant and conspicuous that there is a civil and moral duty for all those with influence to reduce this by supporting investment into early preventative strategies as laid out in the recommendations of this report.”

The Institute of Health Visiting wishes to reconfirm that it always seeks to ensure its activities and publications comply with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. We have never and will never take sponsorship from the formula milk industry.

The Institute welcomes and supports Unicef UK’s Call to Action campaign – calling on MPs to commit to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding both locally and nationally.

On Tuesday 5 December, Unicef UK is holding a drop-in event for MPs, to tell them about their “Change the Conversation” Call to Action and asking them to make a pledge to:

  • Commit to making their workplace breastfeeding friendly
  • Support their local health services to become Baby Friendly
  • Champion the Call to Action campaign in Parliament.

This is where Unicef UK’s campaign needs your help. Constituents’ voices are so important in raising MPs’ awareness of these issues and the need for action.

Please write to your MP encouraging them to attend the event to make the pledge. This link takes you to the Unicef UK campaign page where you can fill in your information to identify your local MP, create an email which is already prefilled with important information, and then just click to send it – it’s as simple as that!

By making this simple pledge, MPs will show that they recognise the importance of breastfeeding to the health and wellbeing of babies and mothers, and are committed to taking action to support it.

By The original uploader was Ellywa at Dutch Wikipedia – Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain,


In World Breastfeeding Week 2016 (1-7 August 2016), iHV has signed Unicef UK’s joint call to action to the UK and all devolved Governments to remove the barriers to breastfeeding and create a supportive, enabling environment for women who want to breastfeed.

The UK has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Breastfeeding is viewed by many as difficult to achieve and largely unnecessary because formula milk is seen as a close second best.

Extensive evidence demonstrates that breastfeeding saves lives, improves life chances and cuts costs in every country of the world. There needs to be a fundamental shift in policy thinking and public discourse around breastfeeding.

This World Breastfeeding Week, we support Unicef UK’s Call to Action, calling on the UK and all devolved Governments to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.