Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week was founded by Leo’s Charity, launched in 2019 with the aim to raise awareness of how the stresses and strains of having a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit can affect, not just the wellbeing of parents, but also siblings and grandparents. More support and funding are needed for the families of those born too soon or too poorly to go home, and also for the medical teams caring for them. Leo's founder Lottie King says:
"We want to utilise the week to share best practice between charities and units, raise more awareness and unite for better care."
NEC UK was delighted to collaborate with Leo’s Neonatal Charity in supporting the first ever Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week in recognising the enormous impact of neonatal experiences have on families particularly in relation to NEC and our key message was highlighting that irrespective of NEC outcomes our journeys continue beyond leaving a neonatal care.
We was able to support the week both online with tips and videos on wellbeing for families affected by NEC and had an in person presences across three neonatal units during the week. We also supported the units where we had a presence with wellbeing packs and supportive items.
The next Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week will take place 20th-24th of April 2020. Find out more about #NICUMHAW by visiting
Leo’s (https://www.leosneonatal.org/neonatal-mental-health-awareness-week/) and stay tuned to see how NEC UK will be supporting 2020!
Where to turn when you need support?
For parents caring for babies and children in hospital speak with the nurses on the unit or ward. Your hospital may have a psychologist, councillor, peer support or connections with organisations and charities who offer support they can signpost you to. Also remember you can access GP care when you are out of area as a temporary patient. PALS may also help you if you are experiencing any difficulties in accessing support.
Away from the hospital environment and for relatives your GP is a good point of contact for referrals and signposting to services.
NEC UK Charity support group can found at:
NEC UK Email support at:
The following links may also be helpful to you -
Providing Scottish residents with information to help them make informed decisions about their own health.
NHS Direct Wales
Information about psychological therapies available in Wales
Healthcare gateway for Northern Ireland
Health & Social Care Services in Northern Ireland, containing links to the Hospital and Community services provided by the 6 Health Trusts, General Practices, Health and Social Care Board and other HSC Agencies.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.
The founding charity of Neonatal Mental Health Awareness Week. Caring for families during preterm and traumatic labour, the neonatal unit & beyond.
works to give every child in the UK the best start in life. Supporting the mental health of pregnant women and new mothers has a direct and long lasting impact on women and also on their children's lives.
The National Breastfeeding Helpline
The helpline run in collaboration with the Breastfeeding Network (BfN) and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM). All the volunteers answering calls are mums who have breastfed, and all have received extensive training in breastfeeding support. Calls are diverted to the next available ABM or BfN volunteer.
0300 100 0212
A charity for babies born premature or sick.Supporting families with a baby in neonatal care,
The Smallest Things
A charity promoting the good health of premature babies and their families.
information around pregnancy, premature birth and baby loss.
Child death helpline
A dedicated helpline that offers support to anyone affected by the death of child of any age, under any circumstances however recent or long ago.