Infant Mental Health Awareness Week coming up in June
Coming up 12-18 June 2023
Infant Mental Health Awareness Week provides an annual opportunity to focus on the importance of the mental health and wellbeing of babies and very young children. It is a chance to discuss some of the issues that affect infant mental health and the importance of early relationships.
Research shows that the experiences and relationships we have in the earliest years of our lives, impact on the development of our brains. Babies are born wanting to connect with people and their environment. When a baby is sick, they find themselves in an environment where they cannot always be with their parents/carers. They can’t always be social and interactive like they are born to be.
Stress and adversity experienced during the earliest years can have a negative impact on babies’ physical and mental health as they grow.
But the services in place to support families can make a huge difference. Understanding and promoting infant mental health is the key to preventing mental health problems in children.
We will be using the opportunity to highlight the brilliant work happening across the campus to improve outcomes for babies and young children. Stay tuned!
Have a listen to this excellent four-part series on infant mental health produced by the Education Hub. The series covers the principles of emotional development of patients in the 0-5 age group, how this can be disrupted by hospitalisation and how we can support the mental health of our patients and families.
- CWTE: Infant emotion and behaviour dysregulation | The Education Hub - Conversation with the experts (podbean.com)
- CWTE: Normal infant crying, sleeping and feeding behaviours | The Education Hub - Conversation with the experts (podbean.com)
- CWTE: Hospitalisation from a toddler’s point of view | The Education Hub - Conversation with the experts (podbean.com)
- CWTE: How to communicate with pre-schoolers | The Education Hub - Conversation with the experts (podbean.com)
Catch up on this Grand Round which focuses on the impact of hospitalisation for the treatment of serious illness on the mental health of infants and their families, coupling past research with clinical experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented by Dr Megan Chapman, Senior Clinical Psychologist and the coordinator of the Infant Mental Health Program at RCH and Associate Professor Campbell Paul, Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist, and clinical lead of the Infant Mental Health Program at RCH and the Childrens Campus Mental Health Strategy Family Centred Care project.
- The mental health of sick babies in hospital: Risks, vulnerabilities, and the impact of COVID-19 | Grand Rounds Online (rch.org.au)
This RCH Kinds Health Info fact sheet includes information for families on signs of social or emotional concerns in a baby, toddler or young child, things that can affect mental health in infants and toddlers, and how parents can help build resilience in children.
Acknowledgement of Country
At Mental Health Central we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, gather and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Proudly supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation