NI Infant Mental Health e-Bulletin February 2021

Welcome to the first 2021 edition of the Public Health Agency (PHA) Infant Mental Health e-Bulletin, designed and disseminated by National Children’s Bureau (NCB). 

2020 was a challenging year for everyone with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which brought changes to everyday life we could never have predicted.  As the year progressed, many additional pressures upon new parents and families became evident.  More families than ever have had to rely on food banks; some support groups and activities were cancelled or moved online leaving many new parents feeling isolated; and rules for partners attending the maternity ward meant many new mothers lacked the normal levels of support for key stages of their pregnancy, labour and early days. 

Despite the challenges, services have continued to adapt rapidly to the changing circumstances.  Many services founded on face to face contact have had to redevelop online delivery models to ensure that babies, young children and their families can continue to get the support they need at a critical time. Others are reaching out via telephone to stay in touch with families. 

Below, we have shared some key evidence and policy developments, as well as practice examples we have seen emerging across workforce development and service delivery.

Please feel free to circulate this e-bulletin to others you think would be interested, and If you have information which you would like us to include in future bulletins, or you wish to be added to our mailing list, please contact Deirdre McAliskey 

Click here to read the e-Bulletin

Abbey SureStart – Strength and Nourish Programme


We at Abbey SureStart have being working hard to remain connected to families that access our services. We have done this by coming up with innovative ways, thinking about how we can do things differently. The programme I am going to share with you is called Strength and Nourish.  This programme is looking at how we can look after our overall wellbeing by adjusting our eating habits and building in exercise. We know that the climate we are currently living in has taken its toll on us all so the positive feedback that I am going to share with you was just too good to keep to ourselves.

This is just one of the activities that shows us the importance and value of what we do.

Strength and Nourish Programme