Infant Mental Health Week 2023 (12-18 June)

Today marks the beginning of Infant Mental Health Week. This year’s theme, Bonding Before Birth focuses on pregnancy, and how what happens during this time can impact a baby’s future mental health and well-being.

Practitioners from services and disciplines across the statutory, voluntary and community sector in the Southern Trust area have produced a series of short videos for parents/parents to be and those working to support families relating to the theme of Infant Mental Health Week. A sample of videos will be highlighted across Southern Trust Social Media platforms throughout this week.

All videos can be viewed through the following link 

Download Flyer

A regional online half day event for practitioners relating to the theme of Infant Mental Health Week will take place on Thursday 12th October and the keynote speakers are Sally Hogg and Suzanne Zeedyke.

More information to follow. If you would like to register interest, please contact Paula Carson Lewis at The National Children’s Bureau.


Regional Qualification Audit for Registered Group Based Settings in NI


The Regional Qualification Audit for Registered Group Based Childcare Settings in NI goes live on Wednesday 29 March 2023.

Information will be collected from all registered group based settings via a survey link issued by each HSC Trust.

Each setting will receive information on how to complete the online survey from their local HSC Early Years Team.

It is a mandatory requirement that each setting completes the survey as it will inform the pending review of Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare and also inform the Early Learning and Childcare Strategy.  The information gathered in this audit is critical in supporting the sector going forward.

Mandatory Response due by 28 April 2023.

New Organ Donation Legislation to Come into Effect on 1 June 2023 (Dáithí’s Law)

From 1 June 2023, all adults in Northern Ireland will be considered potential organ donors unless they choose to opt out or are in an excluded group.

The Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) legislation, known as ‘Dáithí’s Law’ in honour of six-year-old Dáithí Mac Gabhann, will change the way consent is granted. The 1st of June is exactly 5 years from when Dáithí was added to the transplant waiting list.

We encourage everyone to consider their organ donation decision, record it on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and most importantly #HaveTheChat with loved ones so they are aware of your decision.

Read more about the law change at or stay up to date with @OrganDonationNI on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

SHSCT Children’s Speach & Language Therapy Team Play & Say Programme

The Play and Say programme from the Southern Health & Social Care Trust’s Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team is for children aged 3 years and younger and their parents/carers and is now available for everyone.

It provides tried and tested strategies to support young children’s speech and language development through play.

The programme is delivered by Registered Speech and Language Therapists and has been highly successful in encouraging young children’s communication development.

Discover how you can help your young child progress with their early speech development and listen to the Registered Speech and Language Therapists as they guide you through a series of proven language development strategies –

Download Play and Say flyer

NEW SHSCT Speech & Language Therapy Advice Line

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Team are delighted to announce the launch of the telephone Advice Line as a means of support of parents of children resident in the SHSCT.

The Advice Line will be available each Monday starting February 6th from 10am-12 noon.

Parents/ carers will now have direct access to a Registered Speech and Language Therapist, via a dedicated phone line.

NB -This service is for children who are not already known to the Speech and Language Therapy service.