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This presentation will discuss the basics of infant and early childhood mental health and their impact on early brain development. It will highlight the North Carolina Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Association’s efforts to prepare and support the early childhood workforce. The speakers will describe the IECMH competency guidelines and the Endorsement credential, including the role of reflective supervision. This presentation will define reflective supervision and share why it’s so important for early childhood professionals. Additionally, this presentation will invite professionals and families to examine their opportunities to promote infant and early childhood mental health. All caregivers in a child’s life can positively impact their mental health, and these adults supporting infants, toddlers, and young children need support as well.

Learning Objectives:

By end of the program, participants will be able to

1. Describe at least 3 characteristics of infant and early childhood mental health and their importance.

2. Name at least 2 central components of the state workforce development strategy: Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Endorsement.

3. Define reflective supervision/consultation and discuss its implications for the workforce and families.


Kelsey Smith, LMSW, IMH-E® is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Association (NCIMHA). She is committed to racial justice and equitable opportunities for every child to grow and prosper. Kelsey was a founding member of Power of Two, a New York City child welfare organization focused on dismantling systems of oppression to support the city’s youngest residents, and has a background in attachment-based parenting and home visiting. Kelsey has extensive experience in organizational growth and program development, cultivating and maintaining relationships, program design, training and implementation, and consultation. Kelsey holds a master’s degree from New York University School of Social Work and became Endorsed as an Infant Family Specialist in 2022.

Julissa Thompson, MPH, IBCLC has a background in psychology, early childhood education, and breastfeeding/chestfeeding research. She brings the experiences of a nanny of over a decade, preschool teacher, and parent coach to her current roles as NCIMHA Training Coordinator and Board Certified Lactation Consultant in a local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her passion for cross-cultural understanding, parental and child well-being, and her Caribbean heritage coupled with her love for learning (and food!) have taken her to 20  countries between Denmark and Barbados for personal and professional journeys. In her free time, she collects unicorn decor and dreams of more travels, more roti, and a world where social equity is the standard that we all hold ourselves to.



  1. Kaminski, J. W., Robinson, L. R., Hutchins, H. J., Newsome, K. B., & Barry, C. M. (2022). Evidence base review of couple‐ and family‐based psychosocial interventions to promote infant and early childhood mental health, 2010–2019. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 48(1), 23-55.
  2. Naveed, S., & Zeshan, M. (2021). Empowering clinicians in perinatal, infant, and early childhood mental health. Psychiatric Annals, 51(7), 296-297.
  3. Silver, H. C., Davis Schoch, A. E., Loomis, A. M., Park, C. E., & Zinsser, K. M. (2023). Updating the evidence: A systematic review of a decade of infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) research. Infant Mental Health Journal, 44(1), 5-26.
  4. Spielberger, J., Burkhardt, T., Herriott, A. L., & Winje, C. J. (2022). Building reflective capacity and improving well‐being of early childhood professionals through an embedded cross‐system model of infant early childhood mental health consultation. Infant Mental Health Journal, 43(6), 878-898.

Enrollment: You will gain immediate access to this course after fully completing checkout. Look for this title listed under the My Courses block or tab on your My Account page.

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