Normalizing Conversations About Mental Health

Hello, everyone! My name is Tiffany Grant. I have been in the early childhood field for 14 years and I really enjoy what I do. Currently, I am a business development manager, so I work on the business side of childcare. I have a husband who I’ve been married to for 12 years, we’ve been together 14 years. I have two children – a 3-year-old named Uriah and a 7-year-old named Alaya.

My passion for supporting providers and early childhood infant toddler mental health comes from my experience growing up. I battled with depression pretty much all my life. During that time, my parents tried to seek out support, but it wasn’t anything consistent. When I became pregnant with my daughter during college my last year, I became extremely worried about her mental health. Because of that, I wanted to really look into seeking out some supports to help her. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was able to find a mental health therapist who could support me and help me out with her mental health.

Unfortunately, after I had her, I couldn’t connect with this therapist. We had about two sessions and I did bring Alaya with me to help me be a better mom, but she left the profession, so I found myself looking for another therapist. I couldn’t find anyone. I would go to sessions but I wasn’t connecting — there were a lot of language barriers and cultural things that I could not connect.

I went through a traumatic experience in my life and I ran to therapy after I had my second child, Uriah. I went through two or three therapists before I could find someone. In those therapy sessions is where I was able to develop the techniques to support my children. With both of them, I was very, very worried about their mental health and being able to provide them what they needed as a mom. Now, I’m searching for a mental health therapist for them and I’m having a very difficult time. Due to COVID, a lot of agencies are not taking new clients. Because I am searching for a specific therapist of color, I’m not having any luck and I’m hoping to work through that journey.

I want policymakers to know that we need to increase mental health providers of color in the workforce! I believe this is very important as we’re talking to many different communities and families that want to seek out those mental health resources. I also hope resources can be made more available in childcare programs and schools so that teachers, educators, parents, and families have the things they need to overcome what they’re dealing with as they relate to mental health. We need to create more supports for mothers and fathers to have the supports they need for themselves and for their children. Specifically we need support for fathers. A lot of the times when we talk about infant and early childhood mental health, we talk about the mother and the infant, but we also want to bring awareness to the fathers who may need support to support themselves, the mother, and the child.

I’m really passionate especially when it comes to the African American community because, a lot of the time, in my community, seeking out mental health resources is something we don’t talk about and I really do want to normalize the conversation of mental health and how important it is.

Learn more about infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) and how you can take action in support of babies at