What Is Infant Mental Health?

Infant Mental Health refers to ....

"the developing capacity of the infant and young child (from pregnancy to 3 years old) to experience, express and regulate emotions; form close and secure relationships; and explore the environment and learn," all in the context of the caregiving environment that includes family, community, and cultural expectations. (Osofsky & Thomas, Zero to Three, 2012)

"The field of Infant Mental Health may be defined as multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing the social and emotional competence of infants in their biological, relationship, and cultural context." (Zeanah & Zeanah, 2001).  It requires "expertise and conceptualisation from a variety of different disciplines and perspectives including research, clinical practice, and public policy". (Osofsky & Thomas, Zero to Three, 2012).

The Gift of Love is a video in which Deborah Weatherston, Executive Director of Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, gives a clear introduction to Infant  Mental Health, its framework and some broad intervention principles.  Watch 'GIFT OF LOVE'

How to Care for Infant Mental Health. Listen to All in the Mind ABC radio interview by Lynne Malcolm with Prof Louise Newman and Sally Watson (President, AAIMHI) in 2016. Read the transcript of the interview or listen to the podcast.