Child development and mental health

Government campaign to improve child development and mental health

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is looking to improve child development and improve future mental health by strengthening the bond between parents and their babies.

Secure relationships between parents/carers and their babies positively impact child development and reduce the likelihood of future mental health issues.

A recent survey conducted by Censuswide indicates that over two-fifths (41%) of parents do not realise that mental health affects development before a child is two years old.

Start for Life’s If They Could Tell You campaign aims to educate parents on how a baby expresses itself and the ramifications of parents' reactions.

The government is also launching new guidance for clinicians to help start conversations with people about building their relationship with their baby.

Andrea Leadsom comment

The campaign is part of the wider, £1bn government effort to give every child the right start to life.

“This campaign will make it easier for parents and carers to interpret the way their baby is communicating with them and understand how best to meet their baby’s needs,” said Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, England’s deputy chief medical officer.

Minister for the Start for Life campaign, Dame Andrea Leadsom, said: “Speaking with parents across the country, I’ve heard first-hand that they need more support around how to better build those connections.”

Dr Amanda Gummer, a child development expert, added: “Building a strong connection with your baby from pregnancy onwards helps to foster a sense of love and security, laying the foundations for their future wellbeing and mental health.”

Image credit: iStock

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