May Talks on Tuesdays Webinar
Many EI providers have expressed concern about how to engage parents and caregivers in a conversation about Infant Mental Health. In this presentation we will explore which children may need interventions directed at specifically enhancing mental health and how to talk to parents about this need without creating fear or anxiety for them. It's an area that is very important to address, because as children get older and start attending Head Start or school, their mental health impacts their education in a tremendous way.  


Jeannie Odachowski is a Licensed Professional Counselor working in Martinsville, VA. She began working in EI in 1984 and continued until 2002, when it became necessary to pursue supervision for her license. Infant Mental Health became a passion after working in the field and observing (mostly), mother-child interactions and how the relationships were affected by various developmental and physical conditions, extended hospitalizations, sensory preferences, multiple caregivers and feeding difficulties. Mental health services for infants and their families was not really a dedicated service then, at least in VA, but attention needed to be paid to the early relationships, traumas, and development of social/emotional health in children. Since then, she has worked with children and their families in outpatient and intensive in home counseling programs, and with adults experiencing mild mental health concerns and chronic mental illness. These programs drove home the idea that those early experiences leave a lasting impact on us, whether we remember them verbally or not.

She is also a member of the VA Association for Infant Mental Health and the VICC.  

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