To investigate latest procedures for working with families where infants are at high risk of impaired emotional and social development

United Kingdom
USA
Community Service
To investigate latest procedures for working with families where infants are at high risk of impaired emotional and social development featured image

When Julie Stone was awarded her Churchill Fellowship in 2001, she was one of only eight child psychiatrists in Western Australia.


At the time, there was a growing interest in the early childhood years, and increasing evidence that early life experiences influenced all spheres of development and determined specific aspects of brain development. Many professional groups and organisations were exploring new or enhanced ways of promoting young children’s creative development. This research fuelled Julie’s interest in this field.


Julie’s project was to investigate procedures for working with families where infants are at high risk of impaired emotional and social development.


She was eager to experience, learn from, and collaborate with some of the world’s best infant mental health clinicians working with families where infants were at high risk of impaired emotional and social development. She wanted to better define the role that mental health services had to play and develop a stronger understanding of the contribution she could make in her role as an infant, child and family psychiatrist.


Julie’s Fellowship took her travelling across the UK and the US for three months. She returned with a clearer awareness of the need for mental health professionals and the vital role they play in promoting the emotional well-being of children. She also had a new appreciation for the importance of finding new ways to think about young children and their needs, and working closely with:

  • Infants with birth experiences or illnesses requiring long hospitalisation
  • Infants and young children in the foster care system
  • Infants born to parents with mental illness
  • Infants and young children whose parents have a long history of relationship instability.

She also brought back a sense of hope and optimism that if we, as a society, could get it ‘right enough’ for young children, their futures had a strong chance of being happy and healthy.


The opportunities that have come to Julie through her Churchill Fellowship have been life and career changing.


In 2024, twenty years after her Fellowship adventure, Julie and her husband Peter Langoulant, generously decided to support someone else’s Fellowship journey with the Julie Stone Churchill Fellowship to investigate infant mental health.


Fellow

Julie Stone

Julie Stone

WA
2001

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