Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

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Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing of Children

The first 1001 days (from conception to the age of 2) are really important for a child’s emotional and physical development.

If children are emotionally well and have good mental health, it helps them to develop coping skills and resilience as they grow into adults.

Babies are born ready to be sociable. Babies who have sensitive and loving relationships and secure attachments in the first 2 years of life, are able to develop their own identity and self esteem and this can have long lasting benefits to their health, development and wellbeing in later life.

Babies love looking at their parent’s face and will enjoy close and loving communication from an early age. Parents can support their young children’s emotional wellbeing by playing with them, reading to them, talking to them and noticing what they are trying to communicate. Parents who respond sensitively to their child’s needs can help them to feel safe, loved and know that they matter. Children are also able to learn how to regulate their emotions by learning from their parent.

In Hampshire we recommend the Five to Thrive approach to support the emotional wellbeing of young children. This focuses on the 5 key activities that children need every day; a bit like having 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables every day. The 5 activities are: Respond, Cuddle, Relax, Play and Talk These activities are our ‘building blocks for a healthy brain’. More information about online groups that are available to learn more about the Five to Thrive approach is available at Hampshire Healthy Families .

If you are worried about your child’s development or their emotional wellbeing or mental health, please get in touch with your Health Visitor.

More information is available at:


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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

This page was last reviewed on 20-10-2020

This page will be next reviewed on 20-10-2023