Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall Council’s interim director of public health, said: “The courses, which have been developed by registered professionals and parents, provide a wealth of information for parents, grandparents and carers about pregnancy and birth, the development of the brain alongside the emotional development of the baby right up until their 19th birthday.”
Funding for this has been provided by Local Maternity Systems from across Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and Devon, which is made up of representatives from across health and care including NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and Cornwall Council’s public health.
The partnership also includes doctors and midwives from Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and volunteers from the Maternity Voices Partnership.
Dr Lynette Rentoul, consultant child psychiatrist, said: “We know that parenting is the biggest factor in determining children’s wellbeing and development. The Solihull Approach parenting programme has proved itself to be a highly successful and practical approach to support parent’s understanding of, and connection with their babies and children. It not only plays a vital role in ensuring children have a good start in life, it also enhances the joy, wonder and pride that parents and children can find in each other.”
Trudie Roberts, LMS midwife for Cornwall and Iles of Scilly at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, said: “We want babies to have the very best start in life, for their parents to feel supported when they use our services and once they leave the maternity care we want that experience to continue. The free online courses do just that, providing easy to access practical support at any time of the day which will help shape babies long-term resilience and mental health and wellbeing throughout their lifetime.”
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken added: “The opportunity to offer these online courses to all residents of Cornwall and our neighbours in Devon for 3 years reflects how by working together across the health and care system can have a real benefit for our communities. I’m delighted that as we approach Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, of which the theme, aptly, this year is ‘seeing the world through babies’ eyes’ we are able to make this excellent support available to whoever feels they would benefit.”
Access to the free online courses is also available at www.inourplace.co.uk using the code TAMAR, which provides lifetime access. The courses are available in different languages including Urdu, Polish, Chinese, Bulgarian and Arabic.