Infants, toddlers, and parents should have access to appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment services to meet their mental health needs.
Greater availability of health insurance through Medicaid, CHIP, and the ACA gives families more access to treatment. Medicaid also can increase early detection of problems through screening and treating children for mental health disturbances. Other federal mental health programs provide support for adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances. Because infants and toddlers have unique needs, public policies should focus on building a strong infant-early childhood mental health system to prevent, identify, and treat mental health problems in infants and toddlers. Public investments in mental health care can also increase adults’ access to screenings and services, improving the wellbeing of parents and young children alike.