Infant Mental Health Awareness

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 23rd June 2020.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

What steps he took to promote Infant Mental Health Awareness Week.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

I understand that Infant Mental Health Awareness Week was a great success. There is much to be gained from seeing the world through a baby’s eyes.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for that short answer. We have heard much about the impact of lockdown on school-age children away from school, but little on the impact on babies and new parents facing particular challenges on their emotional wellbeing. Has the Secretary of State or the Minister, if she has got her voice back, seen the research published during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week by the First 1001 Days Movement last week, suggesting that three quarters of parents with children under two are feeling the detrimental impact of the lockdown, particularly BAME parents? What are the Government doing to put this crucial cohort on the radar and provide support before they grow up and take the problems to school and beyond?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

My hon. Friend is absolutely right on this. I applaud the work of the First 1001 Days Movement. It is incredibly important. I strongly support the work that it has done to highlight the importance of the early days of life and the time before the birth of children. I have seen that report. I have discussed it with the Minister and we are working very hard to put that into effect.