Six short films which bring together a wealth of advice to help new parents give their babies the best possible start in life have been produced by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).
The films include interviews with health professionals and parents and are designed to provide mums and dads with an insight into life with a new baby as well as the steps they can take to safeguard both their own and their child’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Available online, they cover a range of topics, including parental wellbeing, what is PIMHS (parent and infant mental health services), teenage pregnancy, early childhood development, becoming parents and attachment between parents and their children.
Each around five minutes long, the films examine the importance of the relationship between a parent and their child and the impact which it can have on mental wellbeing later in life. They also look at communicating with your child and overcoming attachment difficulties caused by issues such as post-natal depression, as well as the range of support services which are available at children’s centres and from health visitors and other professionals.
Clinicians from NSFT have also written informative blogs to support the launch of the films, which offer parents a more in depth insight.
Dr Richard Pratt, Clinical Psychologist with NSFT, said: “Sometimes the difficulties of being a parent can be underestimated. It is a major change in someone’s life and some people can struggle and need support.
“The films are designed to provide parents with some useful information and insights while also showing them that they are not alone and there is help out there. This ranges from specialist mental health services, such as those provided by NSFT, to the support which is available in children’s centres and through friendship with other parents.
“The films are designed to be easy for people to access, and we hope as many parents as possible will take the time to watch them and ask for help, should they need it. 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.”
The films have been produced in partnership with Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s Family Nurse Partnership and the Priory Centre, which is run by Great Yarmouth Community Trust.
They form part of a wider project focussing on parent and infant mental health, which has seen NSFT offer a wide variety of help to families. This includes a joint venture with Norfolk County Council which offers targeted mental health support and therapy to the parents of babies at risk of being taken into care, with the aim of keeping as many families together as possible.
Video 01 - What is PIMHS?
Video 02 - Parental Wellbeing
Video 03 - Teenage Parents
Video 04 - Early Childhood Development
Video 05 - Becoming Parents
Video 06 - Attachment