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.

A golden opportunity at a precious time: A piece by AiMH members for the BPS to celebrate IMHAW21

To mark Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Educational Psychologist Dr Nicola Canale joined forces with fellow Educational Psychologists and AiMH members Dr Abigail Wright and Dr Rebecca Stewart to share their thoughts on the role that EPs play in supporting children aged 0-2 years old.

The goal of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 was to encourage everyone working with children and young people to think about and include babies and infants in all aspects of policy and practice. This important week encouraged us, as three EPs with a special interest in the early years, to reflect on how we are including babies and infants in our own practice and hope that this inspires other psychologists to do the same.

WAIMH 2021 World Congress 22 – 26 June 2021 – presentations by Bristol and Cardiff clinicians

The WAIMH 2021 World Congress 22 – 26 June 2021 was a blend of in-person in Brisbane, Australia and virtual online open to all. You can still register and view content until December 2021. Click here to read more about the Program and here to see more information on the AiMH News Event page.

Rachel Pardoe (Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist) and Dr. Jessica Williams (Highly Specialist Perinatal Clinical Psychologist in the Cardiff and Vale perinatal CMHT) presented a pre-recorded workshop at WAIMH 2021, available on demand:

Providing a parent-infant therapeutic intervention online: Video Interaction Guidance – empowering parents during COVID-19 (Workshop theme: Antenatal and perinatal practices)

Kangaroo logo

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)

What is G-PIMHS?

We are a specialist team who provide expertise in supporting and strengthening the important relationships between babies and their parent/carer(s). We work closely with families through thoughtful prevention and early intervention to give every baby the best start in life. We work together with all the services around a family to support the early relationship and promote emotional well-being.

What is Parent-Infant Mental Health?

The first 1000 days of life is a time of unique opportunity of growth and development. During this time babies’ brains are shaped by the relationships they have with their parent/carer(s). Difficulties in early relationships can have a lasting impact on a child’s development. During infancy, babies are unable to talk about their feelings and needs, but communicate these in different ways, which are sometimes hard to understand.

What can we help with?

We see expectant parents and new parents who may be experiencing difficulties feeling emotionally connected to their baby for a variety of reasons including:

– Traumatic birth or stressful pregnancy

– Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or low

– Previous losses or significant losses during pregnancy

– Finding you are worrying too much

– Other concerns you may have around your relationship with your baby

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.


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

‘Kintsugi’ is the Japanese custom of repairing broken or cracked items with gold. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the item, giving a unique appearance to each “repaired” piece. This method celebrates each items unique history, and emphasises its fractures and breaks, instead of hiding or disguising them. This makes the repaired piece even more beautiful and interesting than the original. It may also make the item stronger, and more resilient to withstanding future knocks and bumps.

It strikes me that there is a similarity between the art of Kintsugi and a concept in the field of developmental psychology 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.