15 June 2020

This week we mark Infant Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme is '2020 vision: seeing the world through babies' eyes'.

It encourages us to think about the experiences of babies and how these influence their mental health and development.

It is an opportunity to raise awareness of this important part of early childhood development.

In the first years of life, children rapidly develop the social and emotional capabilities to prepare them for life, becoming self-confident, trusting human beings.

Research has shown that early experiences within an infant's nurturing relationships play a crucial role in their social and emotional health and wellbeing.

Experience tells us that to lift the long-term mental health of our nation we must begin in early childhood, because where we are born and where we live and grow up have a profound impact on our mental health and wellbeing throughout life.

This week the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, the Parent-Infant Foundation and the First 1001 Days Movement are highlighting the needs of babies and encouraging professionals, policymakers and decision-makers to think about the experiences of babies.

Each day this week will draw attention to a key topic for reflection and promotion: what babies are seeing now, how the current world is affecting babies' mental health, how the current world is affecting babies and their relationships and wellbeing, and defining infant mental health and explaining why it matters.

For more information about how you can get involved, I urge you to contact the First 1001 Days Movement and the Parent-Infant Foundation. When you see the world through the eyes of a baby, what will change?