Infant and Early Mental Health Care Pathways:  Establishing Community Systems of Care 

Infant and Early Mental Health Care Pathways: Establishing Community Systems of Care

Canada lacks a systematic approach to supporting the mental health needs of young children and their families. Healthcare practitioners often fail to recognize vulnerability in young children because they do not know what to look for, and families struggle to access early mental health support for their children. Consequently, early developmental risks that go unidentified can solidify into behavioural challenges and adverse mental health outcomes in later years that will require significantly more effort from the child, their family and available community services to address.

Decades of work led by Infant and Early Mental Health Promotion (IEMHP) and its partners have engaged organizations from multiple sectors along with community leaders and families in building the capacity to better address Infant and Early Mental Health (IEMH) concerns. Our proposed research will leverage a community intervention called the Infant and Early Mental Health Care Pathways Intervention. IEMHP has developed a community-led, capacity-building model for embedding IEMH into current health, education and social services. This proposal will test the hypothesis that implementing this model and its associated assessment tools will enhance, create and even expand IEMH promotion, prevention and treatment services within communities.

Further reading:

Lead organization: Queen’s University

Location: Ontario

Contact: Dr. James Reynolds,