Mental Health Promotion
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The early years of life have an important effect on growth

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.

Social and emotional development

We know more than ever before about how young children think, learn, and grow. From birth to the first day of kindergarten, growth moves more quickly than at any other time of life. Early experiences make a difference. The early years of life have a critical and important effect on growth, relationships, and functioning that affects our whole life.

Social and emotional learning is the way a child gradually develops the ability to: 

  • experience, control, and express emotions;
  • form close, secure relationships; and 
  • explore the world and learn.

Infant mental health and healthy development go hand in hand. Healthy child development includes physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development.

Parenting and mental health

During pregnancy and after the birth or adoption of your baby, you may feel happy and excited. But it is normal for new parents to have lots of different feelings and emotions, including the "baby blues". Learn more about the "baby blues", depression or anxiety.

Forming at least one close emotional tie with an adult is important for the best development possible. Infants rely on the parent or caregiver to connect with their world and to regulate distress. Interfering with these important relationships is stressful for a baby or young child. 

Babies and young children develop in the context of relationships. Brains grow and develop through human interaction. Babies and young children need new and different experiences, which are provided in ways that are safe, nurturing, predictable, repetitive, gradual, and attuned to the infant or young child’s developmental stage.

Parental mental health

Parents and caregivers are a child’s best chance for healthy development! Take time for yourself and practice positive mental health and well-being

Other resources

The links below will help parents support their babies and young children:


MoH     PCQO