The central goal of Helping Little Minds Thrive is to support services to provide families with meaningful, effective and accessible support to strengthen the foundations of babies and young children’s mental health.
One in six children in the UK will experience a mental health problem during childhood. There is increasing recognition that mental health begins from the start of life and in some cases problems can emerge early. Supporting families to provide responsive and nurturing care early on can help children to enjoy strong mental health from the earliest years and intercept problems before they become established. The central goal of Helping Little Minds Thrive is to support services to provide families with meaningful, effective and accessible support to strengthen the foundations of babies and young children’s mental health.
Our Golden Threads project aims to identify the key ingredients of effective parenting support. This will help us develop a set of principles for support that can be used across the early years system as well as maximising the power of these ingredients in existing parenting programmes.
- Undertake a systematic review of effective interventions to support early mental health for children aged 0-5 years.
- Undertake a common elements analysis of effective parenting interventions to identify the ‘golden threads’ of effective interventions.
- Develop a practice guide of ‘golden threads’ or strategies that services can use to support parents to provide responsive nurturing care. This will be co-designed with families and practitioners.
- Test, adapt and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the practice guide for use in the early years system.
- Optimise promising evidence based parenting programmes for widespread use and scaling including through digital and remote delivery.
Who is involved?
- Dr Christine O’Farrelly (PI, corresponding researcher), University of Cambridge
- Dr Beth Barker, University of Cambridge
- Sally Hogg, University of Cambridge
- Natalie Kirby, University of Cambridge
- Morgan Healy, University of Cambridge
- Dr Ayla Humphrey, University of Cambridge/CPFT
- Dr Sophie Phillips, University of Western Ontario
- Dr Aleisha Clarke, Health Service Executive Ireland
- Dr Thandi van Heyningen, Institute for Security Studies
- Professor Paul Ramchandani, University of Cambridge/CPFT
- Parent Infant Foundation