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The Wales Hub for
Infant Mental Health

The new Infant Mental Health Hub for Wales is led by Orion Owen and Nicola Canale. Details and posts below.  To join the Wales Hub, select it when you register for AiMH UK membership.  We look forward to hearing from you.

The AiMH UK Infant Mental Health Hubs enable members to connect across professions and levels within geographical areas, to help to develop and co-ordinate our thinking and practice around Infant Mental Health issues in our work. If you would like something posted here, contact your Hub leads on the Hub Discussion Forum (big blue link below).

Hub lead Orion Owen

Orion Owen

Member of AiMH executive committee. Works with infants, parents and families, first as a Midwife and now as a practicing Health Visitor in Cardiff, with specialist role in the All Wales Perinatal Mother and Baby Unit (2003-2013). Research PhD from Cardiff University School of Medicine investigating maternal postnatal mood from an adaptive perspective. More

Orion is motivated by curiosity about the unique mental and behavioural expressions of new parents in response to care of a dependent infant, and committed to understanding the critical bi-directional parent-infant relationship and infant mental as the foundation for individual potential across the lifespan. Her own professional education is focussed on Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment. 

She is currently promoting personalised support and intervention for individual parents and infants, and developing how to training for early years practitioners. She is an Institute of Health Visiting PIMH Champion, promoting an infant mental health lens for early years’ service development.

Hub lead Nicola Canale

Nicola Canale

Specialist Educational Psychologist within a Local Authority. Passionate about supporting parent-infant relationships to promote all aspect of children’s development and wellbeing. Currently leads a home-based parent-infant service in Cardiff. More

Nicola has developed a specialist role in the areas of attachment, parent-infant relationships, infant mental health, trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and resilience, and is actively involved in casework and clinical supervision.

She is also involved in supporting the organisation in towards becoming an attachment, relational and trauma informed service, linking with other parent-infant specialists across Wales to develop a suite of IMH training to upskill the workforce. This training is being mapped against the Infant Mental Health Competency Framework (2019) as part of the Infant Mental Health Recognition Register Quality Assurance Process.

Discussion forum

Share insight, explore issues, and ask other professionals for their experience and expertise in the Wales hub forum.

Posts for the Wales IMH hub

News and events below.

Cardiff Parents Plus and Parents First

Our work

We deliver home-based interventions that meet the strengths, needs and circumstances of each individual family. Building safe and trusting relationships is the golden thread running through our work with parents and infants.

Our work focuses on:

  • Strengthening parent-child relationships.
  • Supporting child development and well-being.
  • Promoting positive parenting approaches to understanding and responding to behaviour.

Our Team

Our team consists of Educational Psychologists and Parenting Practitioners. We all have a thorough understanding of early child development and psychology and have training in relational approaches and interventions (such as Video Interaction Guidance and Watch, Wait and Wonder) that have been found to make a positive difference to parents and children.

What Parents say about us

“You have helped us understand our child more. It’s knowing the little changes we needed to make to support our child that has made such a difference.”

You have taken time to get to know us. You have given me a confidence and motivation I didn’t know I had.”

“I feel much better and not so overwhelmed. It was lovely to hear your voice and be listened to.”

How to work with us

Please speak to a Health Visitor or contact us directly via the Cardiff Family Gateway on:

Telephone: 03000 133 133

Email: ContactFAS@Cardiff.gov.uk

To find our more please visit: Cardiff Parenting 0-18 – Cardiff Family Advice and Support : Cardiff Family Advice and Support (cardifffamilies.co.uk)

Gwent Parent Infant Mental Health Service (G-PIMHS)

Who are we?

A specialised, multidisciplinary, parent-infant relationship team, with expertise in supporting and strengthening the important relationships between babies and their parents.

Understanding the inter-relationship between parental and infant mental health and between physical and emotional states is key to identifying and treating mental health problems in this age group.

Infants rely on their caregivers to make sense of their emotional and bodily states and what is going on around them. In infants and young children symptoms such as excessive crying, chronic soiling, prolonged difficulties with sleeping and feeding or failure to thrive may well be symptoms of emotional disturbance, as physical and emotional states are inextricably linked in the early years.

Reflections on an Inter-professional Learning Session around Infant Mental Health at Cardiff University

Adele Page, Trainee Educational Psychologist, Cardiff University

During our recent inter-professional learning session, a joint session for Trainee Health Visitors and Trainee Educational Psychologists at Cardiff University, trainees from both disciplines were joined by Dr Nicola Canale (Specialist Educational Psychologist) and Dr Orion Owen (Health Visitor) who discussed their respective roles within the early years.  

This content is for logged-in members of AiMH UK.  If your work is concerned with babies and infants from conception to age three, or with their parents and carers, then join AiMH UK.

How Lockdown Affects Babies

BBC Video with Dr Abigail Wright, Educational Psychologist & AiMH Wales Hub Member

In this short video, Abi acknowledges the difficulties that new parents such as herself have faced during lock-down but also gives a hopeful message about all the wonderful things that parents can do to continue to support their babies' development and well-being during this time.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-52507731

This content is for logged-in members of AiMH UK.  If your work is concerned with babies and infants from conception to age three, or with their parents and carers, then join AiMH UK.

Agents of Hope: The role that Educational Psychology can play in promoting early child development and well-being

A Podcast by Dr Tim Cox, Educational Psychologist.

Many different practitioners play a vital role in supporting early child development and well-being during the Early Years.

In the two podcasts listed below, Tim interviews two Educational Psychologists from Wales to explore how they are supporting parents and children during this critical period.

This content is for logged-in members of AiMH UK.  If your work is concerned with babies and infants from conception to age three, or with their parents and carers, then join AiMH UK.

Rupture, Repair, Resilience (and Kintsugi)

A Blog by Dr Nicola Canale, Specialist Educational Psychologist, South Wales

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

A few weeks ago, the focus of our lock-down art class was ‘Kintsugi’ – the Japanese custom of repairing broken or cracked items with gold.

Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of the item, giving a unique appearance to each “repaired” piece.

This method celebrates each items unique history by emphasising its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them and often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful and interesting than the original.

I reflected on how this processes also makes an item stronger and more resilient to withstanding future knocks and bumps and about the similarities between Kintsugi and a concept known as ‘rupture and repair’.

Join our hub!

This is the place where we can share news about local IMH events, training, organisations, and share our ideas and resources.

If you would like something posted here, contact your Hub leads on the Hub discussion forum (select big blue link above).

If you have resources you would like to share with AIMH members across the UK, please go to Forums and add to the Member shared resources forum.