Bonding for Brilliant Babies: promoting infant mental health through social marketing
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Bonding for Brilliant Babies: promoting infant mental health through social marketing

Lynn Cuddihy Primary mental health work lead, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Anna Waugh Lecturer in mental health nursing, University of the West of Scotland

Lynn Cuddihy and Anna Waugh report on a project to improve teenage mothers’ knowledge and encourage behaviour change by involving them in the development of a leaflet

Early childhood provides excellent opportunities for growth, yet it is also when children are most vulnerable to neglect and abuse. Policies prioritise mental health, particularly recommending the promotion of good parenting, attachment and infant mental health (IMH) (Scottish Government 2009a, 2009b, Department of Health 2011). However, there is still a lack of evidence, research and funding directed at preventing mental health problems.

When presenting mental health education to a group of pregnant teenagers, an opportunity arose to apply social marketing principles to raise awareness of and promote IMH. The aim of the campaign was to increase young mothers’ awareness of and improve understanding and skills in IMH and bonding. An adapted ‘marketing mix’ (4Ps) – product, price, place and promotion – method was used to promote the benefits of behaviour change to the target audience. The combination of a quiz, presentation of adapted IMH resources and consultation with young pregnant women resulted in the co-creation of a leaflet, which was approved for use across Dumfries and Galloway last year.

This article describes a co-production approach to engagement with pregnant teenagers and the resulting social marketing campaign to promote IMH called Bonding for Brilliant Babies.

Primary Health Care. 25, 4, 24-28. doi: 10.7748/phc.25.4.24.e964


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 05 September 2014

Accepted: 30 September 2014

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