Nurturing Change: State Strategies for Improving Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (I-ECMH) remains a critical but often overlooked policy challenge. Compared to other issues affecting infant-toddler well-being, I-ECMH stands out in many states as lacking a comprehensive approach to prevention, let alone a system to ensure access to treatment after diagnosis. At its core, I-ECMH suffers from a fundamental lack of understanding by policymakers best positioned to nurture change.

In 2011, the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center identified and interviewed key informants at the state and national levels to learn about barriers, successful strategies, and possible recommendations for federal policy action in the field of I-ECMH. Telephone interviews were conducted with 23 leaders in 10 states: California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin.


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