Understanding the Brain

New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health

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The New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health (NJAIMH) is one of a number of affiliates of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH). These organizations have as their purpose the support of optimal development of infants and their families, and to that end they offer training and consultation for professionals and parents. NJAIMH sponsors conferences and publishes an on-line newsletter, "Nurture Notes" [www.njaimh.org]. For the purposes of infant mental health discussion, infants are defined as children from birth to three years of age [www.zerotothree.org]; pregnant mothers are also a focus of interest.

NJAIMH was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the early 1990s, under the leadership of a group of professionals of various disciplines, including psychology, social work, nursing, and early childhood education. Some of the original group were the late Thea Bry, Gerard Costa, Susan Adubato, Elaine Herzog, and Nancy Murphy, all of whom were involved with parent education and treatment of infant and family mental health problems [www.njaimh.org].

In March, 2010, NJAIMH co-sponsored a conference on legal issues relevant to infant mental health and family functioning, including adoption, child custody decisions, and termination of parental rights. The keynote speaker was Judge Cindy Lederman, originator of an important program for safely reuniting young children with mothers who have been abusive or neglectful [www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1181000].