Think Babies and Parents this World Mental Health Day

Think Babies and Parents this World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day is October 10th. The foundations for good mental health start in infancy and travel along a continuum throughout life. Many different factors shape mental health such us our environment, past experiences, sleep, diet, support networks and resilience.

Tweddle works with parents to provide support for their mental health. A parent’s positive mental health and secure attachment with their baby or toddler provides the foundation for a child’s mental health and positive outcomes later in life. These include cognitive, emotional, and social outcomes.

Secure attachment is defined by a sense of security in infants whose caregivers respond to their distress in a consistent, caring and timely manner.

Tweddle Clinicians share programs and education like the Circle Of Security’s ‘Shark Music’ video with families to help them identify mental health triggers. It’s really important that mums and dads seek support if they need help connecting and engaging with their babies and young children.

The World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) have released a position paper on the rights of infants to highlight the unique needs of babies and toddlers compared to those of older children when it comes to childhood mental health.

The position paper focuses on the first three years of life and the impact of early experience on the development of the infant brain and mind. It reminds us that an all too-common view is that the baby is “too small to really understand or to remember” and thus the baby’s perspective is often not appreciated by health professionals and even by parents.

What is often misunderstood, is that babies and toddlers have unique nonverbal ways of expressing themselves and their capacities to feel, to form close and secure relationships, and to explore the environment and learn.

WAIMH remind us to hear the voice of the infant, as their needs and rights are often overlooked in the midst of conflicted priorities for the rights of older children and parents (such as in custody disputes).

Tweddle’s Early Parenting Practitioners focus on the unique needs of babies, toddlers and their families. Underpinning that focus is strengthening infant mental health, secure attachment and relationships.

This World Mental Health Day, Tweddle ask; “How can we work together to be the voice for babies and toddlers?”

If you need support, call:

Tweddle Child & Family Health Service (03) 9689 1577

Victorian Maternal and Child Health Line — 132 229

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) — 1300 726 306

Lifeline — 131 114

BeyondBlue  1300 22 4636


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