June 2023
Early Relationships Matter
In this issue...
  • New report released on early childhood professionals' mental health and infant and toddler mental health
  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health conference plans
  • Virtual Conference schedule announced!
  • WI-AIMH welcomes Sagashus Levingston to Board of Directors
  • Governor and Mrs. Evers celebrate children's mental heath
  • Pyramid Model news
  • Celebrations!
  • Upcoming Training
  • Congratulations newly endorsed professionals!
  • IMH Endorsement® tips and reminders
  • Celebrating Juneteenth
  • We want to hear your voice!
  • Racial equity work: BIPOC and LGBTQ+ mental health
  • WI-AIMH opens Milwaukee area office!
  • Wisconsin featured in ZERO to THREE Report
  • WI-AIMH is hiring!
  • Facebook feature articles
  • UW Capstone Program application available
New Report from the Children's Equity Project:
Examining the Mental Health of Early Childhood Professionals
and Children Early in the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life for children and families globally. The health, economic, educational and related stressors have contributed to mental health challenges for people of all ages, including our youngest and those who care for them.

In a new report, the Children's Equity Project, in partnership with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska and Yale University, highlights the mental health of the early care and education workforce and the children they care for using data collected over the course of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The report highlights the toll that the pandemic has taken on ECE professionals and the children in their care and data for each state. At the same time, COVID-19 has also created opportunities for improving well-being. In general there is increased understanding of the importance of mental health, and greater awareness of the plight of ECE professionals. Pandemic relief funding has also led to the piloting of some systemic and programmatic changes that can improve ECE professional and child well-being.

What follows are recommendations for policymakers and funders at the national/ federal and state levels, which offer both economic and mental health-focused remedies. The complexity of the causes of this crisis necessitates solutions that occur at multiple levels and through coordinated and collaborative efforts. It is also important that all these efforts should be equally accessible, to the extent possible, to center-based programs, home-based programs, and informal childcare.
Plans for the Infant and Early Childhood
State Conference
In order to best meet the needs of our community of professionals, WI-AIMH will be offering in-person conferences during even-numbered years, alternating with virtual conferences during odd-numbered years.

Conference fees will reflect the type of conference based on the actual cost of the events.

You'll find that a virtual conference to be much less expensive than an in-person conference because there are no costs associated with meals, travel, venue rental, A-V, and all the other expenses associated with an in-person event.

But because we know how important it is for people in our field to have the opportunity to reflect, rejuvenate and reconnect, we are pleased to be able to continue to provide an in-person option in a beautiful Wisconsin setting every other year.

You can expect the highest quality presenters at both in-person and virtual events. We look forward to seeing you at this year's virtual conference and the 2024 in-person conference!
Tina Payne-Bryson will provide Keynote Address
Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the author of the Bottom Line for Baby and co-author (with Dan Siegel) of two New York Times Best Sellers—The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline—each of which has been translated into over fifty languages, as well as The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice in Southern California.

Dr. Bryson keynotes at conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world, and she frequently consults with schools, businesses, and other organizations.

An LCSW, Tina is a graduate of Baylor University with a Ph.D. from USC. The most important part of her bio, she says, is that she’s a mom to her three boys. You can learn more about Dr. Bryson at TinaBryson.com. 
Stay tuned for additional Conference information.
Registration will open on July first!
WI-AIMH Welcomes Dr. Sagashus Levingston
WI-AIMH is delighted to announce the addition of Dr. Sagashus Levingston to our Board of Directors. Many of you will recall the unforgettable keynote address that she gave at our 2022 in-person conference.

Sagashus brings her wisdom, knowledge, experience, and insight to this leadership position. We are delighted to have her voice helping shape our work.

You can learn more about the work and story of Sagashus at her website: Infamous Mothers.
Governor and Mrs. Evers Celebrate
Children's Mental Heath
Lana Shklyar Nenide, WI-AIMH Executive Director, was an invited guest of Governor and Mrs. Evers at the Children's Mental Health celebration on May 31st at the Wisconsin executive residence. Lana ensured that the voices of babies, toddlers, young children and their families were represented. The Power of Connection video was running on loop to beautifully provide a glimpse into the magical world of infants and toddlers. Thank you Governor Evers for shining a light on the importance of the social and emotional needs of our youngest children.
Social Media Survey
Please help us plan our outreach efforts by taking our one-minute social media survey! The information you provide will help our team determine how we use social media for outreach.

All responses and demographic information are confidential. 
Celebrating Juneteenth
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and recognizes the day when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, and announced the end of slavery, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

On June 19, 1865, General Granger's arrival in Texas marked a significant moment in history, as it was the last Confederate state where the news of emancipation reached enslaved individuals. The announcement brought about newfound freedom and hope, symbolizing the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth has since evolved into a celebration of African American culture, heritage, and achievements. It serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial equality and social justice, while also honoring the resilience and contributions of African Americans throughout history.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. This designation makes Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday in the United States, officially acknowledging its significance and promoting wider awareness and observance of the holiday.

Juneteenth stands as a powerful reminder of the progress made in the struggle for freedom and equality while recognizing the continued work needed to ensure justice and inclusivity for all.

WI-AIMH offices will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.
Pyramid Model News
Celebrating the Wisconsin Pyramid Model
Congratulations to these new implementation sites!
Congratulations to Cohort 19 programs from Stevens Point, Waupaca, Mt. Horeb, Madison, and Verona! We welcome you as Wisconsin's program-wide and community-wide implementation sites. Thank you for your inspirational reflection and thoughtful planning during the Team Launch in May.
We appreciate your commitment to doing the big work necessary for infants, toddlers, young children, families, and teachers to grow and thrive.
Upcoming Pyramid Model Training
Pyramid Model Individualized Intervention

JULY 20-21
9:00 AM -4:00 PM
CESA 7 Head Start in Manitowoc

This professional development program provides content and resources to support the use of evidence-based problem solving to develop individualized social and emotional interventions for children ages 18 months to 8 years who are being cared for in ECE settings.

Discussion will focus on how and whether individualized support can be distinct from high quality universal and targeted practices promoted in teacher training content. Specifically, the training will emphasize the intersection between function-based intervention and infant and early childhood mental health consultation.

This training is designed for people who create and sustain individualized support for young children who exhibit behavior that challenges adults, e.g. home visitors, Head Start directors/ consultants, Birth to 3 teachers/ therapists, early childhood special educators/therapists, school psychologists, mental health consultants.
Congratulations to Newly Endorsed® Professionals
Congratulations to the following professionals who earned Infant Mental Health (IMH) Endorsement® for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health in 2022! Welcome to the growing network of dedicated IMH professionals. Thank you for your commitment to Wisconsin's infants, toddlers and their families.

Infant Mental Health Mentor
  • Ashley Bowers

Infant Family Reflective Supervisor
  • Eileen Sperl

Endorsement for Culturally-Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (Endorsement®) is an internationally recognized credential that supports and recognizes professionals who have acquired the specialized knowledge and skills for working with or on behalf of infants, toddlers, and their families within their chosen discipline. Earning Endorsement® is Good for Babies as it affirms a professional has acquired the competencies that equip them with the culturally-responsive and reflective skills to promote early relational health and social and emotional wellbeing leading to best outcomes for babies and their families. It’s the largest and most recognized IMH credentialing system in the United States and it’s available to you here in Wisconsin!

We are also excited that WI-AIMH officially began the process to expand Endorsement to include the Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® which supports and recognizes professionals who have acquired the specialized knowledge and skills for working with or on behalf of young children 3 to 6 year-olds and their families within their chosen discipline. Once the initial leadership cohort has completed the process, WI-AIMH will be poised to begin offering this additional set of professional credentials to Early Childhood professionals statewide, likely as we move into 2024.  
IMH-Endorsement: Tips and Reminders
Get a jump-start on annual renewal! 
  • Have you earned IMH-Endorsement® and now need to maintain it through annual renewal? 
  • At the end of the year do you scramble to locate the IMH training you attended and enter it into your application? 
If so, keep in mind that anytime you attend an IMH training or other professional development offering, you can log into your Endorsement® application and enter the training within the training tab. You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to do this—you can enter training throughout the year! This is also a great way to track your training and determine where you might want to focus your professional development over the next six months!

Moved or changed your email or employment?
The easy-breezy months of summer are a great time to review your contact information within your Endorsement® application. Is your email current? Your address? Log into EASy and go to the status tab to change your contact information. Go to the work tab to update your employment information.

June 15th is the next IMH-E® application submittal date! 
There is still time to complete your application and submit by the June 15th deadline. Don’t have the time right now? No worries. The next submittal date is September 15th.
Racial Equity Work
BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Mental Health
For generations, culturally-based practices have been erased, set aside, hidden away, or utilized in secret. The efforts to erase these practices are a cornerstone of the oppressive and violent actions implemented toward diminishing the history, value, and pride in BIPOC and QTBIPOC communities.

As a result of these aspects of historical trauma, individuals and communities modified their behaviors and actions to keep themselves safe, out of harm's way, and to protect the practices from erasure. Unfortunately, the long-lasting impact of these behavior modifications resulted in individuals being unaware of culturally-based practices or hesitant to engage in them out of fear.

However, it is important to shed light on and engage in culturally-based practices in order to heal. By learning about and embracing culturally-based practices, individuals and communities can begin the process of understanding the impacts of historical trauma, reclaiming the honor and pride of their ancestors, their historical knowledge, and the power that exists in connecting with one's community through shared values, beliefs, and customs.
WI-AIMH Opens Milwaukee Area Office
We are excited to announce the opening of our new satellite office in the Milwaukee area.

This site will be the new WI-AIMH office home to our Milwaukee area staff, including Ashley Bowers, Annie Hysaw, Marlow Fowlkes-Ware, Lisa Garlie, and Christina Davis. Staff will be busy in the coming weeks getting the space ready.

You'll find them at: 48
11 S 76th St., Suite 217
Greenfield, WI 53220
Wisconsin Featured in ZERO to THREE Report

In early 2023 ZERO TO THREE interviewed 8 states to understand how they are leveraging American Rescue Plan Act funding to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families.

States across the country are leveraging American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to meet the needs of infants and toddlers, and their families. They are making strategic investments across programs and systems upon which families rely, with the aim of providing immediate relief to real-time needs brought about by the pandemic. States are also taking this opportunity to invest in the development of stronger systems for the long term.

ECE professionals, as a whole, were economically and emotionally vulnerable before the pandemic and have suffered increased rates of stress and depression since the pandemic started. Coupled with the fact that young children have also experienced increases in anxiety, trauma, and grief (including hundreds of thousands of children who lost primary caregivers as a result of COVID-19), it is clear that strategically targeted supports are needed both to promote the mental health of children and to support the well-being of the adults who care for them.

The report specifically names infant and early childhood mental health consultation as one of the key recommendations. Click on the link below to access Wisconsin's state profile, with a review of state-wide approaches and lessons learned.

WI-AIMH is growing again! Come work with us!

Join Team WI-AIMH as the Office Coordinator/Referral Specialist in our new Milwaukee area office or as the Professional Development Manager based anywhere in Wisconsin!

Both positions are open until filled.
Click on the links for details!
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Professional Development Opportunity in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Capstone Certificate Program!

Application & Scholarships:
Participation is by application and enrollment is limited. Apply by July 1, 2023 to ensure consideration for admission and scholarships. Applications will continue to be accepted as space allows. Information about the Capstone Certificate Program and application guidance, including the application form, is available at this site: https://ifmh.psychiatry.wisc.edu/.

The Capstone Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary, graduate credit one-year academic program for practicing professionals who provide relationship-based services to families in the perinatal period and/or families of children ages birth through five years, supervisors and consultants. This program is designed for licensed mental health clinicians and health care practitioners in nursing, pediatrics, family medicine and psychiatry and professionals from Home Visiting, Birth to 3, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Head Start, Head Start, Childcare and Child Protective Services/Child Welfare.

Those who complete this Capstone Certificate Program will have gained knowledge and competencies to assist them in pursuing endorsement as an Infant Family Specialist, Infant Mental Health Specialist or Infant Mental Health Mentor through the Wisconsin Infant Mental Health Endorsement, Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH).
Following a cohort model, enrolled participants are provided with three days of class instruction each month as well as a Mindfulness Class and small Reflective Mentoring Groups to reflect upon and integrate program content into their professional work experiences. Participation in this program provides an increased knowledge base and skills in providing screening, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic or supportive intervention services to support the mental health of parent, infants, young children and early relationships. Those who complete the Capstone Certificate Program will earn 10-12 graduate course credits from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Program Directors:
Roseanne Clark, PhD, IMH-E®
Capstone Certificate Program Faculty Director
Sarah Strong, MSSW, LCSW, IMH-E® Capstone Certificate Program Co-Director

For questions about the application process, please contact:
Bryn Abramson, BS
Capstone Certificate Program Administrative Assistant
For questions about whether this Capstone Certificate Program is right for you or about the application process, please contact:
Sarah Strong, LCSW, IMH-E®
Capstone Certificate Program Co-Director

 Department of Psychiatry, UW School of Medicine and Public Health
WI-AIMH | 6213 Middleton Springs Dr., Ste 204, Middleton, WI 53703 | (608) 442-0360 | www.wiaimh.org