Infant-child mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention strategies are effective in reducing risk factors associated with poor mental health outcomes in adulthood. The purpose of this paper is to inform the policy development process as it relates to infant-child mental health programming in British Columbia. Key informants from early childhood development sectors across BC were interviewed and provided their perspectives on challenges and opportunities for improvement in this area. Findings suggest a need to reorient the health system away from a focus on treatment, to services aimed at promotion and prevention. Barriers to such activities include lack of understanding about the importance of early childhood social-emotional development in the life course, lack of access to research that identifies ‘what works’, and lack of outcome evaluation data. Increased collaboration within systems of service delivery was also identified as a necessary component to support healthy social-emotional development in early childhood.
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Thesis advisor: Janes, Craig
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