Referral Guidelines for Leo’s

Who can refer to Leo’s?

  • Parents can refer themselves or their children for counselling via the referral form, medical professionals can refer themselves or parents or children for counselling via the referral form.
  • Medical professionals who can refer themselves include neonatal nurses and doctors and midwives affected by the trauma of premature birth within the North East region.
  • GPs, health visitors, midwives, neonatal nurses and neonatal doctors can refer parents or children for counselling.

Who can Leo’s look after?

  • Mums, dads and grandparents in the community in Teesside who have spent time on a neonatal unit or are currently on neonatal units (except for James Cook) can access our care.
  • We are aware that the impact of a neonatal journey may not become apparent until several months or years down the line, we can still help even if it’s three or four years since you have been discharged.
  • Siblings who have spent time on a neonatal unit and are showing signs of behavioural changes, such as anxiety, night terrors etc, or have been affected by the loss their brother or sister can access our care.
  • Doctors and neonatal nurses who feel they need support can access our care, and midwives who have been affected by a premature birth or the loss of a premature baby or have been affected by a difficult or traumatic birth which has resulted in the baby being taken to the neonatal unit can also access our care.

The process

Once we have received your referral, we will contact you to let you know we have it on file and our dedicated counsellor will be in touch with you within one week to book in a session with you.

Our counsellor will work with you for an initial 12 sessions. During this time, we will ask you to complete some anonymous questionnaires to help us gather data on the importance of mental health support and how long parents need support for. On your twelfth session, you will be asked if you would like to continue using Leo’s or if you’re happy to end your contract.

Parents / Staff are not under any pressure at all to end their contract after 12 sessions, it is solely for research purposes that we have a 12 session guideline. 

Sessions will be a minimum of one per week and will take place on a Friday. If you need help explaining the need for time off to your employers, please let us know.

You can access our support more than once, so please re-refer yourself if you feel you need the help


Do you need support around an anniversary or birthday?

If you’re feeling fragile, facing flashbacks and reliving painful memories post discharge and you don’t necessarily want counselling support but would like someone to talk to, please get in touch via the referral form and we can find one of our buddy volunteers to put you in contact with. However, you can refer yourself in to our care services if you feel this would be more beneficial for you.

Referral information required:

A fully completed form via the website, this will include:  your own contact details, the reason for referral, other professionals currently involved and consent from the client (if client is being referred by a medical professional)

 In case of query please tel: 07824353130 or email:

Facts & Figures

More than 50% of mums suffer from mental health issues after being on the neonatal unit

1 in 8 babies in the UK need neonatal care

It costs £791 a day to care for a baby in HDU

Leo's Neonatal

newsletter iconStay up to date: