ATLANTA—More than 200 leaders in the field of infant and early childhood mental health participated in a day-long event to celebrate the establishment of the Georgia Association for Infant Mental Health: Birth to Five (GA-AIMH) at Georgia State University.
GA-AIMH is housed in the Center for Leadership in Disability, which is part of the School of Public Health. In addition to celebrating the creation of GA-AIMH, the kick-off event looked ahead to opportunities to expand Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) initiatives across the state.
Featured topics included Georgia IECMH policy and Medicaid updates, culturally responsive practices, pregnancy and early parenthood, early childhood development and attachment, addressing trauma in infancy and early childhood, reflective supervision and consultation, and Infant Mental Health Endorsement®.
Callan Wells, recipient of the ZERO TO THREE IECMH Emerging Leadership Award and Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) Senior Health Policy Manager, serves as part of the GA-AIMH leadership team.
“The Georgia Association for Infant Mental Health will serve as the home for child-serving professionals who want to foster the social-emotional development of young children in the context of their families and communities,” Wells said. “The GA-AIMH Kick-Off represents a homecoming for many who believe that all of Georgia’s infants and young children should be safe and nurtured through consistent, caregiving relationships in order to reach their fullest potential.”
GA-AIMH supports a range of early childhood professionals who address the social, emotional, and developmental needs of young children and their families. GA-AIMH’s vision is for all of Georgia’s infants and young children to be safe and nurtured through consistent, caregiving relationships to reach their fullest potential.
A key component of GA-AIMH will be the Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, originally created by the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Endorsement provides recognition of specialized knowledge and expertise among professionals working with or on behalf of pregnant women, young children and their families.
Funding and support for GA-AIMH have been provided by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Center for Leadership in Disability. Support for the GA-AIMH Kick-Off was also provided by our generous event sponsors at Humana, Aetna, CareSource, the Georgia Learn the Signs/Act Early Team, Amerigroup, Peach State, and CHRIS 180. Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) serves as the host organization and fiscal agent for GA-AIMH.
The GA-AIMH leadership team includes Emily Graybill, Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability, Kathleen Baggett, Director of the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior; Laura Wood, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences; and Raynell Washington, Community Services Specialist in the CLD.
About the Center for Leadership in Disability
The Center for Leadership in Disability is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities that moved to Georgia State in 2008. CLD is housed within the Georgia State University School of Public Health. The CLD is one of 67 programs in the country funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Learn more at cld.gsu.edu.