‘Understanding Early Trauma’ announced as theme for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

03 February 2022

IMHAW 2022 Logo CMYK

The Parent-Infant Foundation has announced the theme and dates for this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (IMHAW).

It will run from 13th to 19th June 2022. The week will look at the nature and impact of trauma experienced by babies, the buffering impact healthy relationships can provide, as well as the importance of having skilled professionals working to improve babies’ mental health.  
The experiences we have in the earliest years of our lives impact on 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 the stress  caused by trauma and limit the long term impact it has on a baby’s development. Specialist support can help to strengthen these relationships and reduce the harms to babies. 
Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Communications at the Parent-Infant Foundation, said: 

“Early trauma can have a significant impact on a baby and their future. Yet, many people assume that very young children are relatively unaffected by traumatic experiences. This may be because babies’ and young children’s reactions may be different from older children’s and harder to recognise. Our hope is that this year’s Infant Mental Health Awareness Week will increase awareness of this important issue and build support for the services which we know can help.” 

The Parent-Infant Foundation has set the theme and co-ordinated the organisation of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week for 6 years, during which time it has grown into a global event.  
Further details will be released in the run-up to the event in June on our dedicated IMHAW page: www.parentinfantfoundation.org.uk/our-work/imhaw 

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