In Australia, 20% of all two year olds show signs of serious mental health difficulties. If not addressed before the age of two, these early mental health difficulties will most likely to persist into adolescence and adulthood, establishing the basis for many mental health issues such as depression, difficulty in adapting to school, suicide, violence, relationship difficulties, and many others.
IAIM Australia does work which helps establish and restore the foundations needed in the first year of a baby’s life, to enable them to experience life-long mental health. We provide practical programs, training and supports to families and health workers which give them additional skills and knowledge in providing babies with the foundations for life-long mental health.
IAIM Australia and our parent educators provide services to approximately 10,000 families each year. We train approximately 100 new parent educators each year to deliver our programs.
Our services are universal – meaning that anyone can access our programs. We work with “well” families – although the majority of families we serve (approx. 70%) are experiencing significant risk factors for early mental health difficulties. These include families:
~Experiencing postnatal depression and/ or anxiety, or other serious mental health issues
~ Who have experienced premature birth or a serious medical condition in the first few months
~ Who are dealing with drug or alcohol addiction
~ Who are experiencing extreme poverty and/ or homelessness
~ With very young parents (<17 years old)
~ Who are involved with child protection systems due to abuse or neglect (we work with Foster Parents as well as Birth Parents)
~ Who have a parent in prison
~ Who have an intellectual disability
~ Who are extremely socially isolated/ excluded
Numerous research trials have found the IAIM programs are not only low cost, but extremely effective in improving mental health outcomes for babies and young toddlers experiencing complex risk factors.
IAIM Australia is a registered children's charity, an official partner to the World Health Organisation Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Program, and a full member of the Mental Health Council of Australia.