This issue of the ZERO TO THREE Journal dives into the burgeoning field of infant and early childhood mental health.
This collection of articles feature:
- The approach of a pediatrician who addresses early childhood mental health in the context of pediatric primary care.
- An intervention to strengthen parent–child relationships that recognizes how parents of infants and toddlers coming into the child welfare system are most often themselves adult survivors of childhood trauma that damages their ability to form healthy relationships.
- Recent advancement in workforce development through the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement®, a credential for those who work with or on behalf of children 3–6 years old and their families.
- A briefing paper from ZERO TO THREE’s Policy Center that explains how policymakers can take an active role in the promotion, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues in young children.
- The recently revised Position Statement on Challenging Behavior and Young Children from the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children.
- Practical strategies that parents and other caregivers can use for dealing with challenging behavior in young children.
- The personal reflection of a clinician with 30 years of experience in the infant mental health field, and how self-reflection and personal life experiences can be a tool to find deeper meaning and direction in one’s professional role.
Collectively, these articles illustrate recent efforts to promote policies, develop intervention strategies, and create professional development opportunities that reflect the advances in the science of early childhood development. This greater insight into the mental health needs of very young children reveals both the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.
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