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Early intervention programmes for mental health from the NSPCC: Part 2

02 July 2015
6 min read
Volume 23 · Issue 7


The NSPCC is dedicated to perinatal wellbeing and advocating for a preventive model of care that has the potential to improve the mental health for parents, families and communities. Here in the second of two articles, Camilla Sanger, Alice Haynes, Gary Mountain and Naomi Bonett-Healy describe two evidence-based perinatal NSPCC services facilitated by midwives.

Midwives have a critical role to play in not only identifying women with mental health difficulties but also in referring them on to specialist services. Within the NSPCC, a number of innovative interventions have been developed to support parents with mental health difficulties, with midwives taking a central and essential role in their delivery. Two of these programmes are discussed below.

Minding the Baby is an evidence-based and preventive home-visitation intervention programme for vulnerable first-time young parents and their babies. It was originally developed by Yale University in 2002, and has been found to have a positive impact for parents and children (Sadler et al, 2013). The NSPCC has slightly adapted the programme for pragmatic use in the UK and it is being evaluated in a multicentre randomised control trial in England and Scotland.

Minding the Baby is a relationship-based, interdisciplinary, and trauma-informed programme. It combines two well-researched early-intervention models; home visiting and infant–parent psychotherapy, in order to meet the holistic, complex, multiple-layered care needs of vulnerable families. Midwives work in close alliance with a social worker/psychotherapist to provide the programme from mid-pregnancy through to 2 years postpartum.

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