chapter  17
11 Pages

Infant mental health

ByChristine Puckering

The term ‘infant mental health’ still meets a sceptical response in some quarters. If mental health were to be equated with mental illness, it would indeed seem preposterous to apply this label to infants. Mental health is not the same as mental illness, however, nor does it even denote an absence of mental illness. Rather, it is a more holistic concept which covers the social, emotional, cultural and developmental well-being of the person. Positive infant mental health is important, not only in its own right, but because it lays the foundations for future well-being.