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Support for new parents highlighted during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week

PUBLISHED: 18:48 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:48 13 June 2017

File photo of a mother holding a newborn baby. Photo: PA

File photo of a mother holding a newborn baby. Photo: PA

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New parents from across the region are being urged to look after their own mental health for the welfare of their baby.

Richard Pratt, clinical psychologist with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT Richard Pratt, clinical psychologist with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT

Clinicians from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) are reminding parents of the importance of safeguarding their own wellbeing and the impact it can have on their children, particularly during the early stages of their child’s life.

It coincides with Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from June 12 to 16.

Parents who are experiencing increased anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts following the birth of their child should seek help from their midwife, health visitor or GP at the earliest stage.

And a range of services are available to those who are seeking support including:

Richard Pratt, clinical psychologist with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT Richard Pratt, clinical psychologist with the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT

• Support for issues such as depression and anxiety from Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney and Wellbeing Suffolk.

• NSFT’s parent infant mental health attachment team offers specialist therapy and support to new parents with children up to the age of two who are at risk of being taken into care.

• The point 1 0-4 Team, a part of the wider Point 1 Service in partnership with Ormiston Families, NSFT and Youth Charity MAP, provides guidance and therapeutic services to families with children from pre-birth through to pre-school.

• Norfolk and Waveney’s Community Prenatal Mental Health Service provides support for pregnant women and mothers with serious mental health conditions. Later this summer, NSFT will launch a similar service in Suffolk.

New parents can also visit www.whatsthedealwith.co.uk to watch six short films which bring together a wealth of advice and steps parents can take to safeguard their own and their child’s emotional wellbeing.

Dr Richard Pratt, NSFT clinical psychologist, said: “The films are designed to provide parents with some useful information whilst also showing them that they are not alone and that there is help out there. That way we can ensure they get the support they need during those crucial first stages of their baby’s development, in turn laying the foundations for a healthy and happy adult life.”

• For more information on wellbeing services visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk or for the Point 1 service, visit www.point-1.org.uk. To self-refer, call 0800 9774077.

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