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Local Perinatal Mental Health service is celebrated

by Laura Johnston

A recent event was held to celebrate the Building Bonds programme, a unique and strength-based parent infant mental health service for parents and carers in Knowsley, which has shown to be a success.

Building Bonds provides psycho-therapeutic interventions to Knowsley families and supports parents/carers to build a more secure bond and attachment with their babies by offering specialist support surrounding their mental health and relationships.

The celebration event was organised in collaboration with Knowsley MBC, Knowsley CCG and North West Boroughs Healthcare, and was attended by professionals and families interested in supporting parent-infant mental health in the perinatal period.

The event was held two and a half years after starting up as a pilot project and has recently been funded to become part of the North West Boroughs Healthcare. The service works with families during the time period proven to be most critical in a person’s life. Evidence shows that ‘the early years of a child’s life from conception to two years are the most fundamental in laying the foundations for future parenting, bonding and attachment, brain development, and future mental health and wellbeing.’

Inspirational visitors attended the event to offer advice and guidance, and guests were given the opportunity to share their experiences and stories.

Ashley Douglas, a local parent who attended, said the event helped her to feel “full of pride and confidence” in herself.

Dr Lisa Marsland, Building Bonds and Knowsley Parent Infant Mental Health Service Lead, said she is “inspired and very proud of everyone who has attended and contributed towards the event and thinks everyone who attended the event has the confidence in the work Building Bonds does. Which is seen as ground-breaking therapeutic work that vulnerable families need the most. Lisa said everyone “totally gets” that the service helps to break cycles, make dramatic changes to family’s lives and make significant cost savings for services for generations to come.

Lee McMenamy, Assistant Director at Knowsley North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust said: “The support that Building Bonds has offered to parents in the last two and half years has given children the best start in life. Lisa and the rest of the team are so passionate about what they do and the support they offer to families.”

Building Bonds Ltd will continue as a private company offering training to professionals. The Knowsley Parent Infant Mental Health Service which is a part of North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust has been commissioned by Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and will continue to offer a quality service to the families of Knowsley.