Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13th - 19th June 2022

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from the 13th – 19th June 2022 on the theme of ‘Understanding Early Trauma’. 

What is Infant Mental Health Awareness Week? 

Infant mental health is an often overlooked and misunderstood subject. Infant Mental Health Awareness Week provides an annual opportunity to discuss the importance of babies’ mental health as well as some of the issues that affect it. 

The Parent-Infant Foundation has set the theme and co-ordinated Infant Mental Health Awareness Week for 6 years, during which time it has grown into a global event.   

Why Understanding Early Trauma? 

The experiences we have in the earliest years of our lives impact the development of our brains. Experiencing trauma, such as exposure to domestic abuse, in the earliest years can have a significant impact on brain development, potentially leaving serious and lasting consequences that can create difficulties for the child into their adult years. This is not inevitable. Secure relationships with parents and carers can reduce stress caused by trauma and limit the long term impact it has on the baby’s development. Specialist support can help to strengthen these relationships and reduce the harms to babies.  

Calendar of events

Many different organisations host events for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week. 

We've put together this calendar of events to showcase all of them in one place. You can access the calendar here.

Comms Pack

Our Comms pack is designed for organisations who want to help promote IMHAW. It provides a range of content for them to use and help them think about how they could become involved with IMHAW. You can download our comms pack here. 

Previous Infant Mental Health Awareness Weeks

 

IMHAW 2021

                                       

IMHAW 2021 provided an opportunity for everyone working in the sector to raise awareness of the importance of babies' social and emotional development, and to share work they are doing.

2021's theme was "Including Infants".  The goal of IMHAW's 2021 theme was to encourage everyone working in children and young people’s mental health policies, strategies and services to think about and include babies. Children and young people’s mental health should refer to the mental health of all children from 0-18 and beyond, but too often it is focussed on older children.  During IMHAW21 we encouraged everyone to think and talk about infant, children and young people’s mental health, and to consider how babies’ mental health needs can be met.

IMHAW20

There was huge engagement in 2020's Infant Mental Health Awareness Week across the UK and around the world.

Face-to-face events could not take place because of the Coronavirus pandemic but IMHAW saw huge amounts of activity on facebook, instagram and twitter using the hashtags #IMHAW20 and #IMHAW2020. Analytics suggest that #IMHAW2020 was used in 7,400 twitter posts, reaching 14.2 million people!

During the week, the First 1001 Days Movement was re-launched with a new vision, mission and consensus statement. This was accompanied by an open letter to the Prime Minister about the importance of babies' emotional wellbeing and development. 

We created a new infographic explaining what infant mental health is and why it matters, see here

The Parent-Infant Foundation was very busy during the week!

  • We created an Infant Mental Health Briefing document for Commissioners explaining infant mental health, the role of teams and the impact of Covid-19, see here
  • We pulled together a rich resource outlining Online Infant Mental training resources for professionals, see here
  • Sally Hogg contributed to various blogs including: ACAMH: “Where is the I in CAMHS?”, iHV: “IMH matters now more than ever”, NHS Confederation: “Where is the ‘I’ in Mental Health?”
  • Karen Bateson contributed to the Mind Matters podcast, listen/watch here

Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated!