A Report released for #IMHAW by the Parent-Infant Foundation captures the findings of a survey with nearly 300 children and young people’s mental health professionals across the UK. This shows significant gaps in both training and provision for babies and toddlers. Key findings include:
- Only 36% of respondents reported that, within children and young people’s mental health services in their area, there are mental health services that can work effectively with babies and toddlers aged 0-2.
- Only 52% of respondents said their local NHS children and young people’s mental health service took referrals for children aged two and under. Many of these respondents told us that, while this was the referral criteria on paper, in reality, the service was not working with young children.
- Only 9% of respondents felt there was “sufficient provision available for babies and toddlers whose mental health was at risk” in their area.
- During their pre-qualification training, 26% of respondents had not been trained to work with 0–2-year-olds.
- 48% had not had experience of working with this age group during their training.
The research shows, yet again, that there is a “baby blindspot” in our mental health system and more must be done to ensure that there are appropriate services available to work with babies and their families.