Infant mental health is the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of infants and young children.
Infant mental health practice refers to the promotion of optimal development and well-being in infants (prenatal to age three) and their families, the prevention of difficulties, and intervention when infants are at-risk or have identified problems. The goal of infant mental health services is to ensure optimal child outcomes in terms of a sense of security and self-esteem, and the ability to form satisfying relationships, to engage with the world, to learn, to cope and problem solve, and to continue positive development throughout life. Infant mental health services strive to promote stable and supportive families and communities.
Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) is a coalition of individuals and professional representatives from agencies concerned with infants and their families. IMHP is dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes for infants through developing and supporting best practices through education and training, dissemination of information, networking and advocacy.
IMHP was initiated in 1988 by the Department of Psychiatry of The Hospital for Sick Children. Since then the organization has grown considerably and maintains strong representation from community-based agencies across Canada. Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) provides a collaborative, informed and passionate voice for infants, families and caregivers.