Northampton charity launches £10k fundraising appeal for infant mental health centre

The NorPIP team.

The NorPIP team.

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A Northampton parent and infant charity, which provides mental health support for new mums, has launched a £10k fundraising appeal in a bid to expand therapy rooms and office space.

The Northamptonshire Parent and Infant Partnership (NorPIP) has bought a new mental health centre near Earl Street, which further aims to help parent-infant psychotherapy as well as aiding parents with postnatal depression.

The charity helps up to 200 families per year and believes that the support they offer is "not about telling parents how to parent, but to tell them how to nurture their babies."

A spokeswoman for NorPIP said: "Parent-infant psychotherapy can help develop a parent’s capacity to reflect, change and separate out past losses and difficulties from the relationship with the baby in the here and now."

The charity - who has welcomed Andrea Leadsome MP to be a patron - also hosts postnatal classes for mums.

The spokesperson added: "After the first few weeks, during which babies and parents are getting used to each other, babies simply want to relate to their carers and in turn be related to.

"Babies are hungry for communication with their parents; they are active participants in parent-infant psychotherapy and help to bring about change in the mother-baby relationship.

"To have this funding, it would enable us to reach more families, we have to see families at home at the moment."

NorPIP is also calling on businesses in Northamptonshire to donate furniture to their new office space and help with signposting.

The family therapy charity is also marking mental health awareness week.

Talking about why love matters, Ailsa Lamont, senior parent-infant psychotherapist NorPIP said: “The situation is not always straightforward, however, as a variety of feelings, thoughts, beliefs and expectations can get in the way of this earliest relationship between the baby and her primary carers.

"When this happens, it can threaten the vital bonding process that is essential for early development and building a secure attachment. One effective intervention available on referral for carers and babies is parent-infant psychotherapy (PIP), which aims to promote a baby’s development through the essential relationship with their earliest caregivers.”