We are delighted to continue our support as a partner for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (#IMHAW17) taking place this week (12-16 June 2017).

200 organisations have come together this week to highlight national infant mental health week which focuses on raising awareness of the importance of giving every child the best possible start in life, beginning from conception.

Begin before birth is the theme of the week to particularly highlight the importance of supporting a healthy pregnancy experience for expectant parents and strengthening the opportunity for the next generation to have a best start in life.

Around 2.4 million babies will be born in the UK before 2020. This also represents our future workforce – the next generation to have their potential nurtured through family and community life – to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators.

IMH infographic

IMH infographic

Early childhood development matters. By the time these babies are turn 3 the foundations for all learning and relationships have been formed. Their brain development in this time is critical to later success in life and school with around 100 billion neural connections being formed.

Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, executive director iHV, said:

“The link between emotional wellbeing, in the very first years of life, and later physical, mental and social health outcomes is now well evidenced. As a nation we should not hesitate in realigning investment and attention onto early childhood when it can make the greatest difference to future health, social care and fiscal spending and ensure that every child meets their potential.”

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 logo

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 logo

Please do join the Twitter Chats taking place every evening this week, between 8-9pm on Twitter – just follow the hashtag #IMHAW17 and post your comments using the same hashtag to join the conversation.

IMH week Twitter Chats

IMH week Twitter Chats


There are some great HV activities going on around the country in support of the inaugural Infant Mental Health Awareness Week #IMHAW16 – taking place this week (6-10 June).

Please share your activities with us:

Monday 6 June

  • Twitterchat 7-8pm “Building babies’ brains” – please do join us on Twitter and follow the hashtags #iHVForum #IMHAW16
  • @Southern_NHSFT #HampshireHV workshop  – Health visiting making a difference “Building babies brains” #IMHAW16
  • Bradford: 1.30pm What’s the story Jackanory! An interactive story time with puppet show at Shine, St Stephen’s Church Hall, Newton St, West Bowling.

Tuesday 7 June

  • Stockport: specialist HV running 1 day awareness training with CAMHS colleague s#stockportfamily
  • Trafford, Manchester: 10-12 at Debenhams Café Trafford Centre information sharing as part of the Breastfeeding Drop in
  • Newcastle: Newcastle University, in partnership with  the local authority and  Newcastle Hospitals, is hosting a 1001 critical days and with a show case event of research and good practice

Wednesday 8 June

  • Bradford: 1pm Family fun day for under 5’s with toddler Olympics, bear hunt, bouncy castle, painting and more at Myra Shay Recreation Ground, Barkerend Road BD3 8QX

Thursday 9 June

  • Trafford, Manchester: 9.30-11.30 The Life Centre Sale information sharing as part of the Breastfeeding Drop in
  • Trafford, Manchester: over Lunchtime an ‘Information stand with leaflets/talk to a professional’ in Sainsburys’ Foyer, Urmston Town Centre

Friday 10 June

  • Trafford, Manchester: Information Sharing morning 9.30-11.30 for key invited professionals at Stretford Children’s Centre
  • Trafford, Manchester: 1pm-3pm Stretford Children’s Centre Poplar Road as part of the Breastfeeding Drop in

The Institute of Health Visiting is delighted to join Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK and the UK’s most prominent parenting and children’s organisations in the launch of the UK’s first national Infant Mental Health Awareness Week – from 6-10 June 2016.

A new campaign ‘Building Babies Minds’ is launched this week which seeks to highlight the importance of laying the foundation of the mind for good mental health in infancy.

Events will be taking place across the country to raise awareness of Infant Mental Health and its relevance to life chances for every child. As a society we can and should do much more to support parents in their all-important job of getting their babies started on the path to good mental health, which begins for everyone in infancy.

From birth to age 18 months, it has been calculated that connections in the brain are created at around a rate of a million per second. The earliest experiences shape a baby’s brain development, and have a significant impact on that baby’s mental and emotional health.

Clair Rees, Executive Director, Parent Infant Partnership (PIP) UK stated:

“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”.


Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting commented:

“It is the mental health of infants that assures the mental, social and physical health of our society. There can therefore be no better public health investment. By directing more professional time to supporting all new parents during the critical early years the benefits, both fiscal and to the health of our society, would be felt by all.”

Primary sponsors of the week include Public Health England, the Royal College of Midwives, the Institute of Health Visiting, Community Practitioners and Health Visitors’ Association, the Association for Infant Mental Health and Zero to Three.

Read PIP UK’s full press release

The iHV is the major partner in this inaugural Infant Mental Health week with PIP UK, and we need all of you to think about your own local profile-raising activities.


Some great posters are available to help you, but you really need to engage with the wider public through the press as well as with your families. There are some useful resources to be found on the IMH week website.

iHV will be hosting a Twitterchat between 7-8pm on Monday 6 June – please do join us using the hastags #IMHAW16 and #iHVForum.

Please share your local activities with us (please send to [email protected]) – we can help promote them through our social media channels and also get them onto the IMHAW calendar of events on the IMHAW website.

We’ve already had some great info sent through which we have shared with the IMHAW organisers – so please keep letting us know what you’re doing.

We hope that you have got your local newspapers lined up to help share the message on your local activities – and please do let your local commissioners know what you are doing, involve them, great profile raising for health visiting.