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Supporting Early Childhood Mental Health

The first six years are critical for human growth, development, and mental health. Promoting healthy interactions, relationships, and mental health from the beginning can help to improve health and well-being later on.

Infant and early childhood mental health, sometimes referred to as social and emotional development, is the developing capacity of the child from birth to five years to form close and secure adult and peer relationships; experience, manage and express a full range of emotions; and explore the environment and learn — all in the context of family, community and culture. Intervention approaches for young children require sensitivity to their developmental needs within their families and communities.

The MHCC is supporting conversations to facilitate a more coordinated, supportive environment that fosters positive development, mental health, and resiliency across the lifespan.

Key Facts
  • 70% of young adults living with a mental health problem or illness report that their symptoms started in childhood.
  • Prevalence rates of mental health problems in very young children are difficult to determine — but are estimated to range from 10-20%.
  • Studies show an $8 return on investment for every dollar spent on early childhood mental health.

In our consultations with parents and persons working with young children and families, we have identified key areas of need and opportunity:

  • Improved access to early childhood services, including childcare
  • Increased awareness of early childhood mental health
  • Training and education for all professionals working with young children, families, and caregivers in their communities
  • Community-based prevention and promotion strategies

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do. In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. *

Disclaimer:

  • Completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address

SURVEY CONTEST MINI RULES

No purchase necessary. Open to residents of Canada age 13+ who are the intended recipient of an invitation to complete the Mental Health Commission of Canada survey and participate in the contest. Starts October 3, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends March 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 6 prizes available: (i) 1 x $500 CAD online retailer gift certificate prize; and (ii) 5 x $50 CAD online retailer gift certificate prizes. Limit 1 entry per person/email. Odds depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill-testing question required. Click here to read Full rules and entry details.

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