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On Wednesday 15 June 2022 we were delighted to welcome over 230 people to our fourth annual IMH Conference, which took place virtually as part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week where the overall theme of the week was understanding early trauma.

Our IMH conference was based on the Japanese concept of ‘Kintsugi’ where broken or damaged ceramics are not neglected or discarded but, instead, attract attention and respect and are repaired with meticulous care. Cracks and breaks are infused with precious gold lacquer, rendering the original fault lines strong and beautiful. Every time we see a piece of Kintsugi we know that there is a story behind it, that someone has cared enough about it to have it mended.

We applied the Kintsugi metaphor to understanding early trauma; how the cracks and breaks occur, the artistry available for repair, and the stories behind the gold veins. We had a wonderful line-up of highly respected speakers to lead us through this journey, including:

  • Alan Stein, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University of Oxford
  • Tessa Baradon, Consultant Parent-Infant Psychotherapist
  • Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Communications at Parent-Infant Foundation
  • Pauline Lee, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Clinical Lead
  • Vicky Nevin, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, NSPCC
  • Martha Sercombe, Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Health Visitor, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
  • Vicky Armstrong, Art Psychotherapist and Researcher, University of Dundee and Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • Dr Josephine Ross, Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee
  • Rachel Stephen, Health Visitor, Co-author and Emotional Wellbeing at Work Project Co-ordinator, Institute of Health Visiting

There were opportunities to hear of award-winning innovations, contribute to discussions, be updated about policy development, and reflect on how health visiting, as part of the wider family mental health and wellbeing systems, can contribute to promoting good infant mental health.

See our short collection of tweets:

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