Zero separation: Prioritising mental health

Since February, the Zero separation campaign has been focusing on the topic of mental health. Whilst the pandemic is taking a toll on all of us, parents of sick newborns and preterm born babies are facing many additional challenges, often on their own. As preterm birth is a distressing experience, parents often report strong feelings of guilt, shame and high levels of stress. The COVID-19 pandemic even aggravates the situation by imposing additional obstacles to affected families and the clinical staff, such as separation policies, frequently changing procedural schedules or the lack of support-groups due to lockdown policies.

Addressing mental health in the NICU environment has therefore become even more pressing. That is why our Zero separation campaign raises awareness for the importance of high quality emotional and psychological care for parents, other family members and clinical staff in order to sustainably enable their physical and emotional well-being.

With articles, studies, statements and interviews, we want to make their fears and worries visible and encourage support.

In our latest video interview series, Steve Bonnard shares his experience of becoming a father to a preterm boy 15 years ago. As a first-time father, he was not only confronted with a distance of several countries between his child and himself, he also had to handle the emotional burden on top. We are grateful for this open and honest interview and appreciate the valuable advice Steve shares with current and future parents!

Watch the full interview series here:

We thank all our partners and supporters for helping us promote this important topic. If you want to help us spread the word and promote mental health for families affected by preterm birth during the pandemic, you find social media materials available in 28 languages to upload and share on