Are you or do you work for a Third Sector organisation that works with mothers, fathers and carers of infants and young children in order to promote Infant Mental Health and development?

Our Infant Mental Health course aims to enhance the skills of workers in the Third Sector by:

  • Exploring what we mean by Infant Mental Health in keeping with the Scottish Government’s Early Years framework, and to further our understanding of this period of a child’s development which shapes future outcomes.
  • Introducing the ideas of conscious and unconscious factors involved in early developmental processes, will explore new thinking about early preventative interventions and will develop the observational skills of participants in relation both to specific infant observation and to work generally with infants and their families.

Who is eligible?

This course is only available to Third Sector organisations and their staff who work with mothers, fathers and carers of infants and young children in order to promote Infant Mental Health and development.

The eligibility criteria and zero cost to participate is prescribed by the grant funding that HDS has received from the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Fund set up by the Scottish Government and allocated through Inspiring Scotland.

What’s involved?

The course is a practical and theoretical introduction to some essential themes concerning the foundations of emotional, cognitive and personality development in babies and young children in the context of their primary relationships and experiences.   It consists of reading seminars, work discussion seminars and infant observation seminars.

The course will look at some pioneering studies and clinical approaches and will also involve in-depth discussion of participant’s own work and their experience of doing an infant observation.

The course draws on psychoanalytical theory and research, developmental psychology research, attachment theory and research, neuroscience and infant observation research and findings. There is a particular focus on the development of infant observation skills.

Course structure

The course consists of an introductory meeting in week 1 which consists of a general introduction and information then splits into small groups for both infant observation and work discussion.

Weeks 2-6 consist of the 4 seminars as described below:

  1. Work Discussion seminar (1 hour 5 minutes)
  2. Infant Observation seminar (1 hour 15 minutes)
  3. Reading and Watching seminar (1 hour)
  4. Reflective Group (15 minutes)

Participants are also expected to make time for:

  • 1.5 to 2 hours of reading/watching per week.
  • Preparation of 1 written work discussion presentation (1 to 2 hours write-up).
  • Preparation of 1 written infant observation presentation (1 hour observation, 1 to 2 hours write-up).

Register your interest

We are currently operating a waiting list for our courses that run throughout the year (and funding period).  Spaces are limited and is based on a first come, first served basis.

Forthcoming course dates:

  • Introductory day  is 10 January 2023, then 24 January – 21 February 2023
  • Introductory day is 12 January 2023, then 26 January – 23 February 2023

To find out more and to register your interest, please contact Annie Baikie, National Infant Mental Health Coordinator, at [email protected]