Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine catch up campaign

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine catch up campaign

You may be aware parts of the UK and Europe are seeing an increase in measles cases. Measles is highly infectious, can have serious complications and can be life threatening.  Evidence is clear that the MMR vaccine is the safest way to help protect your child against measles, mumps and rubella.  To help protect your child and others the Public Health Agency (PHA) advise ensuring you are fully vaccinated with MMR.

Measles can cause very serious illness

Measles usually causes a runny nose, red eyes, cough, high temperature and rash. It can also cause complications including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and convulsions. It is more likely to be serious in pregnant women, people whose immunity is not working properly and babies under a year of age. Very serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) are rare, but can be fatal

Measles spreads very easily

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known. You can catch measles if you spend 15 minutes in the same room with someone who has the disease, or even less time if you are in direct contact. The measles virus is spread through the air and in tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth of an infected person.

MMR Vaccine

The MMR vaccine is given in two doses as part of the childhood vaccination programme. The first dose is given just after your child’s first birthday and a second dose is given at 3 years and 4 months, before your child starts school

Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine provides the best protection against measles.

Even if you may have previously declined vaccination we want to offer you the opportunity to get vaccinated to protect you against Measles infection.

MMR Catch up

Your GP will be running catch up for children aged 12 months to 5 years who have missed their vaccines. You will be contacted by your GP should your child be identified as requiring one or two doses of the MMR vaccine.

Your local Health and Social Care Trust is running an MMR vaccine catch up campaign for those aged 6 to 25 years of age.  The campaign will run from 5th February 2024 until 31st March 2024.  For further information go to


Anyone can get measles if they haven’t been vaccinated or they haven’t had it before, although it’s most common in young children.

Adults and older children can be vaccinated at any age if they haven’t been fully vaccinated before.

Measles is very infectious so it is important that anyone with suspected measles avoids any situation where they can spread the disease, such as a GP’s waiting room or an emergency department waiting room. People should therefore phone there GP, out of hours service and phone first for A&E in advance and get advice rather than turning up to these venues Phone First FAQs – DOH/HSCNI Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG).


NI Rare Disease Partnership

The Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership (NIRDP) are thrilled to introduce their newly devised education and upskilling programme, “Understanding Rare”. This initiative is designed to foster a deeper understanding and empathy towards the unique needs of the 1 in 17/110K individuals (many of which are children) living with rare diseases or conditions in Northern Ireland, and many of whom experience acute mental health/financial/work/housing or isolation needs alongside carers or family members who are also experiencing these challenges. Some of these “Rare Stories” can be found here

NIRDP understand that mental health providers and Helplines NI (of which we are also a member) play a pivotal role in offering support and guidance to these individuals. Therefore, we have crafted a free 1.5-hour remote learning Continuing Professional Development (CPD) session that aims to equip mental health or helpline and support staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to address their needs more effectively.

Through this short programme, participants will be better prepared to:

  • Understand the complex needs of those with rare diseases in our community.
  • Empathise with their unique challenges and experiences through the sharing of Rare Stories
  • Signpost more successfully to organisations like the NIRDP or other rare condition organisations, facilitating a network of comprehensive support.

NIRDP are pleased to inform you that this initiative is generously funded by the Community Foundation/DOH in Northern Ireland, a testament to the significance and potential impact of this programme. We kindly then encourage you to share this invaluable opportunity with your staff, colleagues, and those in your organisation responsible for supporting CPD initiatives. For further information or to express your interest, please do not hesitate to contact us directly or share this email with colleagues within or beyond your own organisation that may find this matter of interest, especially in training or HR departments.



CCP Regional Conference: Caring for yourself and others – Nurturing connections for wellness

Working with young children is acknowledged as being challenging both physically and psychologically. Even so, Early Years Educators demonstrate very high commitment to the children in their care. However, you cannot pour from an empty cup, and in this Keynote Mary explains the impact of stress on our lives, and looks at how Educators can support their own wellbeing and avoid burnout. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend 2 of 3 workshops, details of all workshops are on page 2.

Download Conference Flyer 

Conference details: 
Date: Thursday 29th February 2024
Time: Registration from 9am, the conference will take place 9.30am – 3pm
Venue: Tullyglass Hotel, Ballymena


Increasing help seeking – creating opportunities to engage adults in early interventions to support well-being

It is estimated in areas of the UK, 17% of the adult population have mental health problems with only 30% of those affected individuals seeking professional help. (McManus, S 2014) There is a tendency to delay help seeking and problems tend to exacerbate over time. While barriers to help seeking exist, ‘perceived need’ and accessibility has been found to be key barriers to help-seeking. (Brown, J.S.L et. Al, 2022)

ASCERT, the South Eastern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts have been working to bring support to people at a much earlier stage. We have created 3 free on- line self-help resources with workbooks that can be downloaded and visual clips that guides the viewer through the workbooks at their own pace.

  • Using Self Compassion to Improve Wellbeing and Support Growth Self Compassion | ASCERT
  • Bend Don’t Break: Low intensity CBT based self-help to support resilience


Engaging workshops: From September 2023 until March 2024, 9 psychoeducational workshops, have been organised via zoom to engage participants in the work, and build motivation to make use of the on-line interventions. This work is early intervention and not aimed people with more serious embedded challenges.

Evaluation: Each of the psychoeducational workshops will have an evaluation and each of the on-line interventions has an evaluation component on its web platform, all be it qualitative, to gauge impact.

You Tube Clips to support well-being: Additional You Tube Clips to support conversations on well-being have been developed through ASCERT and the South Eastern H&SCT with written resources the viewer can download from the description on the You Tube site.


Brown, J.S.L et. al. How Can We Actually Change Help-Seeking Behaviour for Mental Health Problems among the General Public? Development of the ‘PLACES’ Model. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 2831.

McManus, S.; Bebbington, P.E.; Jenkins, R.; Brugha, T. Mental Health and Wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014; NHS Digital: Leeds, UK, 2016.

Calendar of events

The pyscho-educational sessions below are aimed at applying the content for one’s personal use and development. They are open to any adult including practitioners.

Training for practitioners to use this type of low intensity work as “guided self-help” will have additional training events in the winter of 2024.

It would help practitioners who want to use the resources in their work to have a greater understanding of the content by personal application by attending these pyscho-educational sessions though not mandatory.



Date Time
Bend Don’t Break Tuesday 16th January 24 10am – 1pm
Self-Compassion Tuesday 20th February 24 10am – 1pm
Building Our Children’s Developing Brain Tuesday 12th March 24 10am – 1pm

Sign up for any of the sessions is through Event Brite coordinated by the Western Trust. See the training brochure from the Western Trust  Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Training Brochure | Western Health & Social Care Trust (

What is coming next.

A 4th on-line intervention is under construction on using the Polyvagal Theory to Support Well-Being and will be ready to pilot in November 2023 through Autism NI and foster carers in the South Eastern Trust.

The self-help booklet is currently on the South Eastern Trust’s website.

Nervous-System-Brochure-Final.pdf (



FSH Newsletter – December Edition

The December edition of the Family Support Hub Newsletter is now available

(Please Note: Newsletter will download directly to your device.  Look out for the pop-up box and click on open file when it appears).

As usual this edition of the Family Support Hub Newsletter is stuffed full of information, events and good news stories across the Family Support Network and beyond. We’re continuing our “meet the Coordinator” feature with an interview with Deborah Burnett from our Greater Falls Hub, thanks to Deborah for being the Hub star in our Christmas Newsletter.

It is also packed full of information for parents/carers, early years, children & young people with a disability,  mental health and wellbeing advice,  Helplines and much more – make sure you download your copy now!

Previous editions of the newsletter are available at  under Family Support Newsletter section.