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.

The Institute of Health Visiting is delighted to be supporting PIP UK (Parent Infant Partnership  UK) in its first ever Infant Mental Health Awards 2016 – and nominations are now open.

The Infant Mental Health Awards are a key part of the Inaugural Infant Mental Health Week taking place 6-10 June.  The awards will be presented by a panel of high profile guests during  the ‘Investing in Early Potential’ conference taking place on 9 June in Central Hall Westminster.  Official Primary Partners for this week are; Public Health England (PHE), Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), CPHVA, and the Association of Infant Mental Health (AIMH).

The categories for the Awards are:

  1. Andrea Leadsom Award for Outstanding contribution to the field of Infant Mental Health: For an exceptional, and inspirational individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of Infant Mental Health nationally.
  2. Analeaf Award for Infant Mental Health Services: For an exceptional Infant Mental Health service provider, who has demonstrated positive practice, and has improved outcomes for both children and their families.
  3. Infant Mental Health Practitioner: For an exceptional Infant Mental Health practitioner who is innovative in his/her approach to the field of Infant Mental Health, and who continually delivers above, and beyond, what is expected.
  4. Locality Award for Infant Mental Health Inclusion: For a Locality / or Trust that has developed an integrated and inclusive Infant Mental Health service to improve the lives of vulnerable infants, toddlers, and their families.
  5. Infant Mental Health Researcher: For an individual researcher who has made a unique contribution to the growing body of knowledge through their research in the field of Infant Mental Health.
  6. People’s Choice Award: Nominations for this award will be made by an individual who has received support and / or treatment from an Infant Mental Health service provider they believe to be of exceptional quality, resulting in a positive experience and improved wellbeing for their baby, toddler and/or family.

Nominations close at midnight on 16 May 2016. Nominations will not be received after this date in order to ensure a fair process and will be facilitated by a selection panel.

You must ensure upon applying for these awards that you are able to attend the awards ceremony at the Investing in Early Potential conference in Westminster on Thursday 9 June.


The Institute of Health Visiting is supporting PIP UK (Parent Infant Partnership  UK) in its Inaugural Infant Mental Health Week taking place 6-10 June including a Conference on 9 June.

PIP UK provides the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Early Years which published the 1001 Critical Days Manifesto and the Great Britain’s report.  This will be an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of infant mental health and increase public awareness of its importance.

Dr Cheryll Adams said: “Do think of ways your team can get involved locally.”

iHV stock photography from Croydon area. Picture by:

iHV stock photography from Croydon area. Picture by: