What is infant and early childhood mental health?

Infant and early mental health is the social, emotional, and cognitive wellbeing of infants and young children.

Photo of woman kissing a smiling newborn baby on the cheekIn January 2021, our focus expanded to encompass ages prenatal to age 5, and our name has changed to Infant and Early Mental Health Promotion (IEMHP).

Infant and early mental health practice refers to the promotion of optimal development and wellbeing in infants and young children (prenatal to age five) and their families, the prevention of difficulties, and intervention when children are at risk or have identified problems. The goal of infant and early mental health services is to ensure optimal child outcomes in terms of a sense of security and self-esteem, and the ability to form satisfying relationships, to engage with the world, to learn, to cope and problem-solve, and to continue positive development throughout life. Infant and early mental health services strive to promote stable and supportive families and communities.

IEMHP is a coalition of individuals and professional representatives from agencies concerned with young children and their families. We are dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes for the youngest by developing and supporting best practices through education and training, dissemination of information, networking, research, and advocacy.

IEMHP was initiated in 1988 by the Department of Psychiatry of The Hospital for Sick Children as the Infant Mental Health Promotion Project of Toronto. Since then, we have grown considerably into a national organization and maintain strong representation from community-based agencies across Canada. IEMHP provides a collaborative, informed and passionate voice for young children, families and caregivers. 

To improve outcomes across the lifespan, we translate and promote the science of early mental health into practice with families during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood.

Member Benefits

Image of a cute baby. Photo by Amy Hatkoff.IMHPromotion.ca is the home for IEMHP membership, resources, training, events and sales through our eStore. In addition to the resources available on the public site, registered members will also have access to exclusive members resources including:
  • 20% discount on all IEMHP resources and workshops
  • Access IMHPromotion.ca EXCLUSIVE member resources
  • Online learning modules, webcasts, and training materials
Plus - NEW member perks will be added soon!

We hope that this site will provide a hub for infant and early mental health practice in Canada and beyond to support you with the research and practical information that is important for your work.

Please take the opportunity to

Register and become a MEMBER


Supporting Healthy Minds from the Beginning. We all have a role to play in supporting the mental health and long term wellness of our next generations. During the first three years of life, a baby's brain develops at a rate that is unmatched at any other point in their life- over 1 million synapses per second! Early experiences, both positive and negative, have a critical effect of how the brain is wired as infants and toddlers gain the abilities to think, speak, learn and reason. IMHP is here to provide the tools you need to make a positive impact. Diagram depicting that a change in knowledge results in a change in policy, finally resulting in a change of practice.

What is IEMH promotion all about?
WATCH this brief video from our Director.