Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 13 to 19 June 2022. Focusing on this year's theme of 'Understanding Early Trauma,' the annual event provides an opportunity to discuss the importance of baby and toddler mental health.

Infant mental health can be defined as a child's (aged between birth and 3 years) capacity to experience and express emotions, foster relationships, explore the environment and learn. An infant's mental health changes over time and can fluctuate depending on individual and environmental circumstances.

Stressful circumstances such as trauma, can have significant impacts on brain development in the earliest years of life, which can leave lasting effects into adult years. Secure and nurturing relationships with parents and carers help an infant feel safe. This helps decrease stress and increase the chances that an infant's development will progress healthily, even following exposure to stress or trauma. Support can be given to families to help strengthen infant-caregiver relationships, address or prevent exposure to stress or trauma, and reduce risk of harm.

For more information on infant mental health, the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health provides resources for caregivers on supporting infant–caregiver relationships. Gidget Foundation Australia offers a number of support programs to new or expecting parents. Click here to find out more information. And Sonder is also here for you and your family to help you access the right support at the right time.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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