Awareness of early childhood mental health is essential for any professional working with very young children. Registered early childhood educators, home visitors, child welfare workers, public health nurses, and social workers in particular need to understand the impact of a young child’s experiences on their mental health and emerging sense of self.
The agencies below came together in early 2014 to spearhead a Niagara-based initiative to bring awareness of Infant Mental Health. A diverse range of agencies representing Niagara’s early learning and child care sector were invited to a two day training session on March 24th and March 31st, 2014 to discuss the effects of toxic stress on the developing infant’s brain and how service providers may provide a nurturing environment for infants to help combat toxic stress. One hundred and fifty nine (159) service providers were in attendance at this two-day training session and learned how to use the ASQ and the ASQ SE as additional tools to engage families, address stress in an infant, and identify social indicators that may signal a child is at risk of delay. Participating agencies were invited to join an Advisory Committee as a follow up to the training.