First relationships matter. It is the first way be begin to understand our world. It is how we learn safety and regulation. It is the way we survive in the world. The importance of early experiences cannot be overlooked, and there are professionals in Oklahoma who have devoted their careers to supporting first and early relationships of infants and toddlers.

For parents/caregivers of young children, a nurturing relationship with their child helps shape the developing brain. A baby’s brain grows rapidly during the first 3 years of life, more rapidly than at any other time in life! A strong relationship between a parent/caregiver and a baby gives that child the greatest chance of success in relationships, school and overall success in life. When there are concerns about relationships, a young child’s brain development, emotional growth and /or developmental progress, there may be professionals in the area who have pursued additional training to provide support families with infants and very young children. Please click HERE to be directed to a registry of Endorsed professionals in Oklahoma or email okaimh@gmail.com for additional information.

The Oklahoma Association for Infant Mental Health (OK-AIMH) is Oklahoma’s only resource for statewide infant mental health information. OK-AIMH was founded in November 1991 by a group of professionals concerned about the increase in mental health problems in very young children and the growing need for specialized supports and services for their families. It is an affiliate of the World Association and a member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. In 2006, OK-AIMH purchased the licensing agreement for the Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health Competency Guidelines to support infant mental health workforce development.

As professionals in the field, we must understand the importance of attachment and relationships, be aware of the impact of loss and trauma on young children, and be thoughtful and intentional in how we interact with families with infants and young children. The OK-AIMH Endorsement® registry is a multidisciplinary list including professionals from child and/or human development, education, nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, social work and others. Endorsement® indicates an individual’s efforts to specialize in the promotion/practice of infant mental health within his/her own chosen discipline. These professionals have proven competency in understanding the importance of attachment, childhood development, trauma, brain-development and research and policy implementation.

Being infant mental health informed means using knowledge, skills and reflective experiences to guide our work with infants, toddlers and families.

–Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health

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