Early Relationships Matter
We are passionate about supporting parents, carers and professionals to make sure that every baby in Leeds has the best possible start in life. We aim to promote emotional well-being in infants by supporting caregivers to build secure relationships with their babies. Having a baby can be a special and joyous time, but we know that for many people it can also be a challenging time. There are many reasons why you might find bonding with your baby difficult, either in pregnancy or during the first few years of life, such as:
Difficulties in pregnancy
A traumatic birth
Difficult experiences of being parented when we were children
Loss and bereavement
Difficulties with our mental health (such as low mood or anxiety)
We support parents and carers in tackling these challenges and developing ways to strengthen the unique relationship between you and your baby. Having a close relationship with your baby helps your child to get off to the best possible start in life and grow up feeling safe and secure and able to explore their world as curious and confident children.
Who's it for?
We support parents-to-be and caregivers from pregnancy through to children who are school aged. We help families who are registered with a GP in Leeds and who are struggling with early attachment relationships.
We often see families in their own homes. We can also meet with you in your local health centre or children’s centre.
How to contact us
You may have talked to your midwife or spent time with your 0-19 Specialist Public Health Nurse thinking about your relationship with your baby. You and your healthcare practitioner may feel our service would benefit you if:
• You feel you haven’t bonded well with your baby or
• Being a parent or carer is stirring up difficult or confusing feelings or
• You have worrying or upsetting thoughts about your baby
You can ask your midwife, 0-19 Specialist Public Health Nurse (formerly know as a health visitor) or CAMHS practitioner to refer you to our service.
If you are a professional and would like to refer a family to the service, please follow these steps:
Explain the Infant Mental Health Service to the family and provide them with our leaflet.
Ensure that the family consent to the referral.
Call us to discuss the referral (0113 843 0841).
Following this telephone conversation, you can refer the family by completing our referral form and sending it to email@example.com.
Download our referral form
Working with professionals
We can support you in your role helping families from pregnancy through to children who are school aged through our referral service, training, consultation and reflective supervision.
What training is available for me?
Our training integrates neuroscientific research about how babies develop with attachment theory and evidence-based practice on how to support emotional and social development in the early years of life. For example, we can help you to better understand how babies’ brains develop and how you can promote secure attachment relationships. Please contact us for information about our upcoming training dates or to discuss how we can tailor our training to your requirements (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
How can I get support or advice for a family I’m working with?
If you are working with a family that is struggling with their relationship with their baby, please contact us to discuss your concerns. There are a number of options we could offer to support your work including: reflective case discussions, professional consultation and by working directly with the family. Some of these options will require a referral. Please see our ‘Information for Referrers’ guidelines for further details or contact us for more information.
We are proud to be an award winning service - please view our latest awards below.
Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: ‘David Cottrell Education of CAMH Professionals Award’
Winner, Sue Ranger and Rhonda Mitchell- Infant Mental Health: Babies, Brains and Bonding (June 2019)
Journal of Health Visiting Awards 2019: ‘Contribution to Health Visiting Education’
Winner, Sue Ranger and Rhonda Mitchell- Infant Mental Health: Babies, Brains and Bonding (March 2019)
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Thank You Awards: ‘Colleague of the Year’
Winner, Rebecca Fellows (December 2018)
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust Thank You Awards: ‘Project of the Year’
Highly Commended, Early Attachment Observation (December 2018)
British Psychological Society Faculty for Children and Young People: ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Children and Young People’s Mental Health’
Winner, Sue Ranger (June 2018).
Journal of Health Visiting Awards 2018: ‘Innovation in Health Visiting Practice’
Second Place, Lorraine Ingram (March 2018).
Health Service Journal Awards: ‘Clinical Leader of the Year’
Finalist, Sue Ranger (November 2017).
Association of Infant Mental Health UK Louise Emanuel Award: ‘To recognise those who have demonstrated a significant contribution to Infant Mental Health in terms of practice or through their work in research and policy’.
Winner, Sue Ranger (September 2017).
‘Andrea Leadsom Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Infant Mental Health’
Runner up, Sue Ranger (June 2017)
Locality Award for ‘Infant Mental Health Inclusion in the UK’
Runner Up, Sue Ranger (2016)
Analeaf Award for ‘Exceptional Infant Mental Health Service Provider in the UK’
Runner Up, Leeds Infant Mental Health Service (2016)