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Why Infant Mental Health Matters

Every child deserves the opportunity for a bright future

A bright future starts with early, nurturing relationships that are the foundation for healthy development. When an infant forms close, secure attachments with her parents or caregivers, she feels safe and confident that her needs will be met as she explores the world around her. She learns how to form friendships, communicate emotions, and deal with challenges. This helps build a sturdy foundation for healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development. Learn more.

"Babies’ early experiences and relationships shape how the brain is built and form the foundation for all future development. In order to support optimal early relational development, support for professional development initiatives in the infant, young child and family workforce is a crucial strategy. Providing services to vulnerable babies, young children and their families, particularly those facing chronic adversity, is challenging and requires a unique set of skills. In order to meet these demands, the workforce must have access to high quality in-service training, educational opportunities and reflective experiences that support their work. Acquiring and maintaining this level of professional development requires individual commitment and systems engagement. Recognition for the commitment of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) informed professionals can be demonstrated by earning the Infant or Early Childhood Mental Health (IMH-E®/ECMH-E®) Endorsement® credential." McCormick, A., Eidson, F.; Endorsement is Good for Babies, 2020.

Click below for full article. 

The most rapid brain development occurs during the first three years of life

Extensive research shows that the quality of experiences in the first three years of life shape a baby’s developing brain architecture in powerful ways. The presence of a secure, nurturing relationship between a child and his or her primary caregivers protects the developing brain.

Strong families are the building blocks of strong communities

Early, nurturing relationships promote healthy brain development and put a child on the path to read, stay in school, achieve optimal health, and reach his or her full potential. Everyone benefits when parents, caregivers, and professionals have access to the tools and resources they need to support young children with healthy, stable environments in which to learn and grow. 

More reasons to support good infant mental health

Infant mental health is important for a child's brain architecture, body and health, and behavior and relationships. Check out this infographic from the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health to learn more.

Infant mental health also serves as the foundation for all future development. Check out this infographic from ZERO TO THREE to learn more.

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.

RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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