infant mental health

discussions surrounding mental health often focus on the experiences of adolescents and adults, leading many to believe that these are the only people in our community affected by emotional concerns. infant mental health refers to the well-being of infants and children up to age 3, and it includes a child’s emotional and social growth and development. seeking support with an expert in infant and early childhood development can provide helpful strategies to reduce stress for everyone involved. they are vulnerable and unable to regulate their physical and emotional states independently. and they rely on caregivers to help them maintain a sense of well-being. a sense of well-being builds secure attachment — a connection that sets the stage for social and emotional learning.

when their needs are successfully met by a responsive caregiver, infants learn that they can rely on that person, and the social bond builds. social emotional growth is known to be the first learning priority for infants, and it can be defined as an infant’s experience, expression and management of emotions, and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. an infant or young child may avoid eye contact when he or she is overstimulated. an infant’s future ability to pay attention; adapt in flexible ways; learn in school and in life situations; make friends; and manage unpleasant emotions, such as anger or anxiety all depend on early social emotional development and the connection of secure attachment that leads to the ability to trust in others and self. when infants and young children struggle to develop these essential abilities, mental illness can follow. if you identify as a caregiver and would like more information about preventive mental health in infants or young children, first know that there are professionals trained extensively in newborn behavior observation. methods such as dyadic therapy, which involve treatment delivered to a parent and child simultaneously, help to support caretakers to improve their response to their infant and promote a lifelong journey of mutual social and emotional growth.

for this reason, parents’ relationships with their children play an important role in the mental health of infants and young children. parents help to support the mental health of their babies by doing small things, such as talking to their baby, responding to their baby’s smiles or cries and comforting their baby when the baby is upset or scared. we now know that when infants and babies feel secure in their relationships with their closest caregivers, this can help support their overall mental health as well. an attachment relationship refers to the special emotional bond between an infant and caregiver, whom the infant most readily turns to for comfort when he or she is hurt, upset or frightened. the person may be related to the child or not. if parents or caregivers have questions or concerns about their baby or young child’s mental health or their relationship with their child it is recommended that they speak to their family physician or primary care provider to find out where they can go for more information or help if needed.

changes, like the birth of a new brother or sister, can cause a lot of stress. a doctor can work to see what else may be causing or adding to the infant’s problems. a diagnosis will help to connect with treatment options and take action early. and, good attachment may give a child protection from a mental health challenge or illness. parents can’t control some of the things that cause mental health challenges or illnesses. in this collection developed by the kelty centre, you will find a list of recommended resources for parents/caregivers to learn more about infant mental health including websites, online tools, guides, books and provincial support services. you’ll find answers to common questions families have about accessing mental health supports and services in bc for their child or youth.

support healthy social and emotional development in infants and toddlers. iecmh involves promoting emotional and social wellbeing in young children from the infant mental health refers to the well-being of infants and children up to age 3, and it includes a child’s emotional and social growth and infant mental health, also called “early childhood mental health,” refers to the mental health of young children from birth to age five., infant and early childhood mental health.

infant mental health refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to three. the key to preventing and treating mental health problems iecmhc is an evidence-based approach that pairs mental health professionals with people who work with young children and their families. learn iecmhc is a prevention-based service that pairs a mental health consultant with families and adults who work with infants and young children in, .

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