© 2019 Ausmed Education Pty Ltd (ABN: 33 107 354 441)
2-Day Seminar for Nurses and Other Health Professionals
Nurses and midwives who understand how the early formative years of an infant’s life are so critical to the prevention of life-long mental health problems are an essential asset to our community. This highly interactive learning experience focuses on:
Mental wellbeing and the healthy development of humans throughout life are increasingly being understood to commence before birth. It is now known that the perinatal and infancy period is extremely significant in laying down a person’s emotional and physical resilience. If infants have a disordered attachment or fail to thrive in this critical period of their life, the consequences may be long-term and potentially catastrophic. However, few health professionals have the opportunity to access relevant education that adequately addresses the mental health of infants.
The purpose of this program is to offer nurses and other mental health professionals an interactive opportunity to learn about the promotion of infant mental health in day-to-day practice.
8:30am - Registration and Refreshments
An infant’s wellbeing cannot be dissociated from that of the mother or main caregiver. This first session takes a historical look at the infant in society and, in so doing, sets the scene for the remainder of the seminar. It includes:
It is well known that the quality of an infant’s attachment profoundly influences long-term development. However, different theories of attachment have emerged over the years. This session unravels some of the complexities around attachment theories and includes:
10:30am - Morning Tea
The “Still Face Experiment” originally conducted by Edward Tronick, an American developmental psychologist, has significantly influenced our understanding of children’s first relationships and their critical importance in normal social and emotional development. This session will screen a short video followed by a discussion that will further highlight the significance of adult-infant communication and the importance of functional attachment to an infant’s sense of self.
Separation anxiety is normal emotional development; however, occasionally, it can become problematic. Some babies persist in needing increased amounts of comfort and seem insatiable in their needs for maternal attention – all of which can have profound and unwanted consequences. It includes:
1:00pm - Lunch and Networking
Understanding how an infant communicates has meant that allowing babies to cry without responding to their needs is no longer desirable. The introduction of controlled crying as a settling technique is now criticised for a range of reasons. This session will look at when infants communicate through crying. It demonstrates how a parent’s response needs to be based on evidenced principles that promote infant mental health. It includes:
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea
Many babies wean from their mother’s breastfeeding without issue. For others, weaning can be quite a difficult process either for the mother, the baby or both. In this final session of day one, we will look at the issues associated with problematic weaning. It includes:
4:15pm - Close of Day One of Seminar
9:00am - Commencement of Day Two
This interactive session provides an overview of common maternal mental illnesses and the specific symptoms that create the most serious problems for infants. This session includes:
10:30am - Morning Tea
Family violence is continually in the news. It is often associated with neglect. However, evidence suggests that people often overlook indicators of violence in families and, as a result, fail to act when a child is at risk. The “rule of optimism” is an example of a system that aims to counter this. This session looks at the “rule of optimism” and what happens when an intervention is made. It includes how to assist and support families who are in situations of crisis. It includes:
12:30pm - Lunch and Networking
This session will explore the extensive work of the late Dr Katherine Barnard, a pioneering nurse who made significant contributions to infant welfare across the world. This session reviews her landmark work, the role of the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training (NCAST) and its materials that can help parents learn to understand their baby, especially infant states. It includes:
Following on from the previous session, we will now look at how experience plus evidence-can create the very best healthcare in the infant-parent mental health context. This practical session will draw on knowledge of current research combined with years of clinical practice to reveal a narrative of infant mental health concepts that will resonate with all health professionals.
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee
This final session will describe the moments in during their practice that your presenter realised the impact and value of an infant mental health approach to care.
4:15pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations
Michele Meehan is a Maternal and Child Health Nurse currently working in her private practice, 'Parenting Matters', and lecturing on child health topics. Prior to this, she worked for 30years at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, as a Clinical Nurse Consultant. Michele holds a Master’s Degree in Health Science - Parent and Infant Mental Health, and wrote her minor thesis on the topic of 'Infant food refusal'. Her qualifications also include midwifery, community health nursing, health education and counselling and psychotherapy.