Planting Seeds in Fertile Ground

Prepared for ZERO TO THREE

Mental health disorders can begin to manifest in the first years of life, and when left untreated, can take root and worsen over time, with potentially serious consequences for early learning, social competence and lifelong health.

Despite the effectiveness of early childhood mental health services, most young children still do not receive necessary supports to promote mental health and well-being; prevent adverse experiences from affecting development; and provide eligible infants, young children and their families with access to effective mental health treatment.

In a new policy brief prepared for ZERO TO THREE, Manatt Health highlights what states can and should be doing to advance infant and childhood mental health. The policy brief defines "infant and early childhood mental health" (I-ECMH), documents why investments in I-ECMH matter and identifies specific actions that state policymakers should take to support the healthy development of young children.

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