One of the biggest issues we have to deal with when supporting parents of premature and sick babies is the impact on their mental health. Every parent will deal with the difficulties they are faced with in different ways. When parents have to make life changing decisions (sometimes on a daily basis), this has a huge impact on how their mind will deal and recover once these important decisions are made. This grant would make a huge difference to the lives of our parents and families. Our ADAPT Counsellors role is to listen to the parents stories and build a relationship with them so that in most cases mental health issues can be avoided or helped by us just having a daily talk and helping parents to understand what is happening with their baby. The ADAPT relationship is different to the ones parents have with the medical staff on the unit because we focus purely on the parents, their needs and their well being. For the parents just knowing there is someone there for them to talk to will help put them at ease. When you are faced with a discourse in your life, there needs to be the right support at the right time and in the right place, so that when these families go home they can carry on with their life’s knowing someone was looking out for them and is still on the end of the phone if they need support from ADAPT. Case Study: Father is left with a baby born 14 weeks early. What should have been the happiest day of his life was the most traumatic. His wife died on the same day and the baby was delivered in his own living room. Our ADAPT Support Co-ordinator met the father on the unit and even now after over a year of baby going home, we still keep in touch to make sure he is ok. This situation was something you only read about or watched in a movie. But when you are faced with it in real life our only focus was to get this dad through each day by talking, crying, remembering, giving him lots of hugs together with knowing when he just needed some quiet time to himself to grieve for his wife and connect with his baby in his own time. Building the trust was very difficult because he was a very religious man up to this point who was now questioning his faith and beliefs. Just by ADAPT being there for him to talk through these feelings and emotions helped him cope with day to day life. This journey was very unique and we felt privileged to be a part of this with him. He knew ADAPT was there for him in person and over the phone anytime and by spending a lot of time with him ensured that he got through this traumatic journey and started to believe in his faith again. He said to our Support Co-ordinator that he didn’t know what he would have done if ADAPT wasn’t there. The neonatal unit also thanked ADAPT for all the extra support he was given. The support was also there for her family who had lost a daughter and gained a granddaughter. Some of the mental health issues that we come across are depression, post natal and post partum depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, loss, anxiety, low self esteem and confidence. ADAPT is faced with so many different situations but our main focus is to ensure that the parents and their families are ok. Being able to talk, laugh, cry, and hug makes them feel ok. Knowing that you can pick up the story the next day without having to explain everything again, gives them piece of mind. A smiley and friendly face will help them to open up and talk. Just having someone there to say it’s ok to be angry and it’s ok to cry helps! We know that situations like the story above happen all the time, unfortunately the mental help support for parents is just not available on a day to day basis for our ADAPT parents which is why we urgently need to expand our support with a dedicated Counsellor team.