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Building Bonds and Breaking Cycles

‘Building Bonds and Breaking Cycles’ – The Importance of Supporting Parent and Infant Mental Health and Building Bonds in Knowsley’

Dr Lisa Marsland from Knowsley PIMHS (Parent Infant Mental Health Service) blogs about their recent Building Bonds event.

Probably the most important period in everyone’s life is the one that they cannot remember’ (Balbernie, 2008)

As the quote reads above… there is no other important time in anyone’s life than the first two years.  We know from research and past literature, the early years of a child’s life from conception to two years are the most fundamental in laying the foundations for future parenting, bonding and attachment, brain development and future mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

Building Bonds is a unique, empowering, strength-based, ‘easy to engage’ Parent Infant Mental Health Service which offers Psycho-therapeutic Interventions to families across the borough of Knowsley. Parents/Carers are supported to build a more secure attachment with their babies using a strength-based model of Psycho-therapeutic Interventions. 

On Thursday 27th April 2017 we held a half day event to celebrate the past, present and future Building Bonds Parent Infant Mental Health Service in Knowsley. The event was for invited Commissioners, Service Manager’s Professionals, Community Services, collaborative partners/agencies, families, ‘experts by experience’ and likeminded, committed individuals who are interested and passionate about working preventatively, breaking transgenerational cycles and ‘making a difference to families lives by supporting parent-infant mental health in the perinatal period.

During the event we celebrated Building Bonds Parent-Infant Mental Health support that has been offered to our families in Knowsley over the past 2.5 years (‘984 critical days’) and the future Parent Infant Mental Health (PIMH) service. There were various inspirational speakers (both parents and professionals), presentations and opportunities for everyone to share their experiences and stories.

“The most important role we have in society is that of a Parent. The courage of the parents who have shared their stories today demonstrated that parents can turn things around and that our parents in Knowsley are doing a brilliant job! This support is the bed rock of society and our parents are clearly having the biggest input in Knowsley so well done.” Ciara Jones, Health Visitor in Knowsley

“Very powerful and emotional event, I left full of pride and confidence in myself and all the other amazing girls who told their stories?” Ashley Douglas, Parent

Building Bonds has been commissioned by Knowsley CCG for the past 2 years. Knowsley CCG have been a great advocate and support for the service and clearly recognize the clinical outcomes, cost benefits, huge long/short term savings this innovative, unique Parent Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS) delivers. 

The Knowsley Parent Infant Mental Health Service (PIMHS) now sits under the umbrella of North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust.

“I sat here today and listened to the parents and their extremely powerful stories. People throughout the day have been saying how lucky we are in Knowsley to have the Building Bonds service. I don’t think we are lucky… this it is a right! Families deserve the right to have this service not just in Knowsley, but across the North West and the UK. The support 

that Building Bonds has offered to parents in the last two and a half years, has given children the best start in life. Lisa and the rest of the team are so passionate about what they do and the support they offer to families. Most importantly I want to make sure that both the parents and infants of today, and the parents and infants of tomorrow have this service for years to come.”  Lee McMenamy, Assistant Director, Knowsley North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Lisa Marsland (Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Service lead) and the rest of the Building Bonds team will continue to deliver the clinical PIMH service under Knowsley (PIMHS), North West Boroughs NHS Trust.  Lisa and the team will continue to offer consultation, support and training to other areas via Building Bonds Ltd.

“I am inspired and very proud of everyone who has attended and contributed towards the event today: My Colleagues, Other Services, Commissioners and Managers… but especially our brave and wonderful parents who have shared their stories and journeys with us. I believe that everyone is here today because “we all get it!!’…we all “totally get’ that this is the groundbreaking, preventative, therapeutic work that our vulnerable families most need, which helps break cycles, makes huge changes to families lives and makes significant cost savings for services. I am very proud of the service, the parent & infants and all of the support we have offered families” Dr Lisa Marsland - Building Bonds and Knowsley Parent Infant Mental Health Service Lead

Please see Link & password below for the short 20 minute Building Bonds Video

Building Bonds DVD

Password: buildingbonds

 Please contact Dr Lisa Marsland, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Service Lead on 07842262448 or