About West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association
History

Efforts have been ongoing in West Virginia to improve Infant Mental Health since 1995 when the continuum of care pyramid was developed and the Infant Mental Health Development Tasks work plan was presented around the state.

In 2000, the Early Childhood Mental Health Workgroup (made up of local providers of services to families with young children and representatives from the state agencies that support those programs) met and developed a Recommended Action work plan. This work plan provided models from various other states that West Virginia could replicate.  These recommendations went to the WV Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council.

In 2012, the Early Childhood Advisory Council of West Virginia (ECAC) formed an Ad Hoc Committee of stakeholders to review core competencies and processes from other states to assist in establishing a plan for West Virginia. One of the recommendations to come out of this Ad Hoc committee was the need for a set of core competencies. After intensive discussion and careful thought, the recommendation was made to purchase the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health.

In 2013, West Virginia purchased the Competency Guidelines and Endorsement® system from Michigan with the intent of integrating this system into current service delivery models. The West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association is committed to building the capacity of professional development to support and meet the needs of all children and families.

In 2016, the first cohort completed Endorsement with the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Beginning in 2017, West Virginia began Endorsing professionals within the state. By 2021, West Virginia had Endorsed over 50 early care and education professionals.

Purpose
  • To promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants and toddlers to provide the essential formative context in which every infant and toddler acquires the basic emotional, cognitive, and social capacities and attitudes that influence all later development;
  • To provide an interdisciplinary infant and toddler mental health organization that facilitates, supports, and encourages cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among those concerned with promoting the optimal development of infants and toddlers and their families;
  • To promote the recognition and better understanding of mental health issues for infants and toddlers through the development and implementation of a voluntary endorsement program based on levels of education, training, work experience, and knowledge appropriate to the delivery of high quality, culturally competent, and relationship-focused services to infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
  • To sponsor and promote activities that will enhance the professional capacities of individuals providing relationship-based services to infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
  • To provide a forum for interaction and study among mental health, public health, education, and social services professionals and others regarding scientific, educational, and clinical relationship-based work with infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
  • To provide a forum for promoting the application of infant and toddler mental health principles within services for preschool age children;
  • To publish educational newsletters, journals, and other materials that promote an increased understanding of infant and toddler mental health issues or that are otherwise consistent with the purposes of the Association;
  • To support infant and toddler mental health initiatives by joining other infant mental health associations in the United States as a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.
Advisory Board Members

Carol Mollohan, APRN, BC, Retired
Dr. Erin Roxby, IMH-E®, Calming Solutions, LLC
Jackie Newson, Director, West Virginia Home Visitation Program
Joyce Tucker, Early Care and Education Specialist, WVDHHR
Laurie McKeown, Executive Director, TEAM for West Virginia Children
Michele Baranaskas, LCSW, Coordinator, Partners in Community Outreach
Michelle Comer, LICSW, PMH-C, IMH-E®, Xylem House Counseling and Play Therapy
Michelle Rollyson, Coordinator, West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association
Regina (Mel) Woodcock, IMH-E®,CSPD/Policy Specialist, West Virginia Birth to Three                                                                              Sheila Zickefoose, IMH-E®, Statewide ICC Coordinator, WVECTCR                                                                                                                    Sister Pat Murray, West Virginia Home Visitation Consultant

Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Partners in Community Outreach West Virginia
Western Regional CASA
West Virginia Infant Toddler Mental Health Association
Mountain State Healthy Families