The Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health (RIAIMH) is a non-profit professional organization that offers expertise in infant and early childhood mental health. RIAIMH was founded in 2002 and received 501c(3) status in November 2003.
All infants and young children in RI thrive through their experiences of nurturing and protective relationships with parents and all providers who care for them. We strive to uphold a parallel process in which families see themselves represented by a diverse, knowledgeable, and well-supported workforce.
The mission of RIAIMH is to build, sustain and partner with a diverse workforce, informed by infant and early childhood mental health principles. Together we work towards the advancement of social and economic justice for the workforce and families and children that they serve. We aim to support the early relational health of babies, young children, and their families that experience the greatest needs, recognizing that these families are disproportionately from BIPOC communities and experience racial disparities.
We are committed to becoming an antiracist organization. We are committed to holding emotional space and providing opportunities for convening, collaborating with/for the workforce to promote/uphold racial and social justice/equity, anti-racist action, and reflective practice with the purpose of dismantling systems and practices of oppression that especially affect people of color. We are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging practices that serve to mitigate bias and disparity in the programs, practices, and systems that serve infants, young children and families and providers
Through training, reflective supervision/consultation, research, and advocacy, we foster reflective, culturally competent, relationship-based practices that equip professionals to nurture strong relationships among young children and all of the adults who care for them.
Our Guiding Principles
Relationships are the foundation for healthy development: babies require protective relationships
Reflection is a cornerstone of
Recognition of the specialized
Respect that each baby is born
Susan Dickstein, PhD, IMH-E, Executive Director
Maryann Lynch, BA, IMH-E, Endorsement Coordinator
Maureen Barden Lynch, BA, Special Projects Coordinator
Sheila Grant Orphanides, MS, Professional Development Coordinator
Our volunteer Board represents all the regions of our State, as well as a wide range of professional roles and programs that serve infants, young children, and their families.
Our members —the diverse workforce that promotes healthy relationships for infants, young children and families—collaborate to integrate infant mental health principles into real-life settings.
RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health and a founding member of the national Alliance for the Advancement for Infant Mental Health.
Is your state a part of the Alliance? Click HERE to see all the Associations for Infant Mental Health in the USA.