What is Infant Mental Health?
Infant Mental Health concerns the relationships that infants and young children develop with their primary attachment figure, which may be a parent or other primary caregiver. Infant Mental Health, sometimes referred to as Infant Brain Health, has been defined as the developing capacity of the child from birth through age five to: experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close, secure interpersonal relationships; and explore his/her environment and learn–all within the context of family, community, and cultural expectations (Zero to Three Infant Mental Health Task Force Steering Committee, 2001).
Promoting, supporting and strengthening these early relationships in a culturally sensitive context is the work of professionals from many disciplines including health, human services, and education. When these earliest relationships are positive, responsive and predictable the stage is set for all future learning, growth, and development.
Who we are
The Connecticut Association for Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) is a professional statewide non-profit organization that offers education and expertise in infant and early childhood mental health.
Connecticut Association for Infant Mental Health, Inc. began its leadership work in 2001 and received its 501c(3) non profit status in 2008. CT-AIMH offers professional development opportunities to those working with infants and young children and their families assisting them to support and enhance responsive relationships, to promote culturally sensitive practice, and to reflect on their work with families and their young children.
CT-AIMH promotes and holds a set of Competency Guidelines® for the infant and early childhood family workforce, that when they are met, lead to an Endorsement in Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health®.
Connecticut is one of over 29 states and multiple countries to offer this endorsement that was initiated by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and in 2006 received the Annapolis Coalition for the Behavioral Health Workforce award for innovation in workforce development.
CT-AIMH works to promote, support and strengthen nurturing, quality relationships for infants, young children and their caregivers, within the context of family, community and culture, through education, advocacy, and professional development.
It is CT-AIMH’s hope that all infants and young children in Connecticut will experience nurturing, responsive care through strong relationships that ensure optimal social and emotional growth and development.
Mission Related Priorities:
- Increase the competency and capacity of the workforce serving infants and young children and their families.
- Engage increasingly and visibly in public policy and advocacy.
- Raise public awareness of the importance of promoting the mental health and wellness of the most vulnerable young children in Connecticut.
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