NCIMHA is seeking an Independent Contractor(s) for the NC Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) IMH-Endorsement® Program Statewide Coordinator role. Click here to learn more.

Statement on Diversity Informed Tenets and Commitment to Anti-Racism:

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

A message from the Board of Directors of the NCIMHA:

If Not Now… When?

Since the inception of the United States, structural racism has been deeply embedded in our society and plays a significant role in the everyday lived experiences of people of color. Over the last several months, the murders of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia have added to the numerous names of Black lives that have been senselessly and unjustly taken away. People and communities of color experience greater interaction and engagement with law enforcement and our judicial systems simply because of the color of their skin. These increased interactions have resulted in negative outcomes, such as much higher rates of incarceration – even death – for people of color.

The North Carolina Infant and Young Child Mental Health Association (NCIMHA) joins the grief, pain, anger, passion, confusion, frustration, and sadness of events and experiences related to the death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of police officers.

We stand in solidarity with communities of color, tribal communities, and marginalized communities, including immigrants and refugees, across the nation and the world and commit ourselves to mitigating the chronic trauma that racism has had on generations of children of color, their families, and the early childhood workforce.

We hold in mind parents and caregivers of color who are tasked with protecting and creating a safe space for their children while also managing their own emotions. We also hold in mind the early childhood mental health workforce of color who strive to hold and comfort families while managing their own emotions.

The NCIMHA expresses ultimate condolences and gratitude to the family of Mr. George Floyd and other families still grieving the loss of their loved one and for promoting peace and humility in the face of despicable and unspeakable violence. The NCIMHA, to uphold our commitment to the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children, and Families, takes a stand against oppression and injustice, as well as structural and institutional racism. The NCIMHA commits to:

  • Recognizing and combating discrimination. Discrimination harms adults and the infants and children in their care.
  • Confronting privilege where we hold it and use it strategically and responsibly. Privilege constitutes injustice.
  • Working with communities of color to disrupt institutional racism.
  • Publicly speaking out against racism and racist ideologies that perpetuate injustices and oppression.
  • Fighting for equitable opportunities for children and families of color.
  • Calling out and addressing inequities in our systems and institutions.
  • Supporting the emotional wellness of people and communities of color.
  • Moving beyond “respecting humans” to “being human”. It is stated: “It is a long journey between Human Being and Being Human” – Think Twice.
  • Demanding a response and action to the question, If Not Now… When?


Sharon Loza, North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program
Karen Carmody, Center for Child and Family Health
Paul Lanier, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Social Work
Catherine Joyner, North Carolina Essentials for Childhood
Ennis C. Baker, Center for Child & Family Policy
Caroline Chandler, UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health
Dr. Irina Falls, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Karen McKnight, North Carolina Head Start Collaboration Office
Ebonyse Mead, North Carolina State University
Rhodus Riggins, Jr., University of North Carolina- Greensboro/Alamance Community College/Bailey, Pullis, & Riggins LLC
Tina Welch Saunooke, Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Jodi Whiteman, Public Consulting Group

#AmplifyMelanated Voices

North Carolina is now affiliated with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Learn more about the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health’s infant and young child mental health competencies and endorsement on their website: https://www.allianceaimh.org/

Image Provided by Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health

World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) membership

NCIMHA has become an affiliate member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH). WAIHM’s central aim is to promote the mental wellbeing and healthy development of infants throughout the world, taking into account cultural, regional, and environmental variations, and to generate and disseminate scientific knowledge.

More specifically, WAIMH seeks to facilitate:

  • Increased knowledge about mental development and disorder in children from conception to three years of age
  • The dissemination of scientific knowledge about services for care, intervention and prevention of mental disorder, and impairment in infancy
  • The dissemination of evidence-based knowledge about ways to support the developmental transition to parenthood, as well as the healthy aspects of parenting and caregiving environments
  • The international cooperation of professionals concerned with promoting the optimal development of infants, as well as the prevention and treatment of mental disorders in the early years
  • Aspects of research, education, and interventions in the above areas

To learn more about WAIMH, check out their website: https://waimh.org/

COVID-19 Resources

Resources and Information about Taking Care of YOU, Supporting Families’ and Young Children’s Emotional Well-being and Resilience, and Helplines During COVID-19:

Self-Care and COVID-19: Getting Ready for the Marathon:

Young Children at Home during the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Importance of Self-Care:

Managing Anxiety & Stress:

Supporting Families (both Expecting and with Young Children)

Prenatal and Infancy
March of Dimes Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): What You Need to Know about its Impact on Moms and Babies:

CDC Pregnancy & Breastfeeding:

National Perinatal Association:

Early Childhood and School Age
Social Emotional Learning Resources During COVID-19:

Center for the Developing Child: Stress, Resilience, and the Role of Science in Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic:

Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

PBS Kids – How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus:
https://www.pbs.org/parents and Tips for Talking About COVID-19 with Your Kids: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/10-tips-for-talking-about-covid-19-with-your-kids

Save the Children – 7 Simple Tips on How to Talk to Kids about the Coronavirus:

National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About COVID-19:

Supporting Families During COVID-19:

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

Child Care Aware of America – Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Coronavirus News & Resources: for Parents:

UNICEF: How teenagers can protect their mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19):

Zero to Three Tips for Families during the Coronavirus:

National Association for the Education of Young Children COVID-19 Resources :

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center:

National Center on Pyramid Model Innovations: Emergencies and Disasters, Helping Children Cope:

Feeding the Carolinas:

CDC Guidance on People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness:

National Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 for Vets/Military

Crisis Text Line: text ‘help’ to 741-741

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 919-956-9124 or visit https://nccadv.org/contact

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.

Community Resources and Supports and NC COVID-19 Information: Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.

For the Most Up-to-Date Information
NC DHHS Coronavirus updates:

The United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/) and https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

Workforce Development

NCIMHA has facilitated the development of a set of core Competencies for infant and young child social-emotional health for our state’s current and future workforce. The Competencies reflect the expected standards for the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for effective practice with infants, young children and their families, and are intended to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration.

We offer these Competencies for integration into pre- and in-service curricula. Sorted into categories, the Competencies are geared for a wide variety of professionals ranging from anyone working with infants, young children and their families to licensed mental health therapists—and everyone in between.

Attention early childhood professionals and community members working with young children ages 5 and under in any capacity:

A free, on-line, self-guided training version of Nurturing the Brain!

Whether as an introduction or as a refresher, participants will learn about early brain development, social and emotional health and the development of resilience in children birth to 5. Click here for a summary of the three training modules.

Developed and updated by Dr. Betty Rintoul, the modules are available through the NC Early Learning Network at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC Chapel Hill. Click here to access these training materials.

For brief background about Nurturing the Brain, click here.

Make a difference!

We have established an Annual Conference Scholarship Fund to provide full-time students and other deserving groups with deep discounts to our annual conference. This fund was inspired by a seed donation early in 2018 by Melissa Johnson, past NCIMHA board president and infant mental health advocate. To subsidize registration fees, we need to keep this fund replenished. The more donations, the more accessible we can make our conference in 2019 and beyond. Give today!

Social and emotional problems impair up to 10-14% of children nationally and the consequences impact society beyond measure. Prevention and early intervention are the solution. Working for the positive emotional, social and cognitive development of children from birth to age five is the purpose of the North Carolina Infant & Young Child Mental Health Association. At the heart of it is our state’s most precious resource. And a more prosperous future for all.

A developing story

A developing story

The national research is startling: emotional health problems impair 10-14% of children from birth to age five. In North Carolina, this equates to approximately 91,000 children. [About]

Early connections are critical

Early connections are critical

“Early nurturing, learning experiences and physical health from ages zero to five greatly impact success or failure in society.” – James Heckman, Professor, University of Chicago, Winner of the Nobel Prize.  [Resources]

This is a cry for help

This is a cry for help

Your support of North Carolina’s infants and young children will help underwrite a more productive and healthy society. [Give]

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