Why the early years

Adversity in the first six years of life–such as abuse, exposure to caregiver violence, high-conflict divorce, addiction, or mental illness at home–can lead to toxic stress responses in the body that create physical changes in a child’s brain, and disruption to their hormonal and immune system development.

Emerging research also suggests that community trauma, including structural forms of violence, racism, and poverty, can have similar lifelong impacts on children’s mental and physical health.¬†

We know that parents cannot control all of life’s circumstances and that eliminating adversity may not be accessible for everyone. The good news is that exposure to adverse childhood or community experiences is not the whole story. The research clearly tells us that a secure connection between parent and child serves to buffer the effects of early stress and is a crucial ingredient for building resilient brains and bodies in our kids.¬†

By focusing on connections, we seek to destigmatize socially entrenched beliefs about infant and children’s mental health and parenting, and to promote early intervention as a means of prevention for child and youth mental health issues.

Charitable #710172289 RR 0001