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Early Years Seminar Series - Infant and child mental health

  • Infant and child mental health: Ensuring optimal wellbeing for all children
    Friday 18 March 2016

    The Centre for Community Child Health is pleased to invite you to attend a seminar exploring infant and child mental health. The seminar will focus on the important role of universal services in promoting positive mental health in children, and on early identification and intervention for children who have mental health problems. 

    The seminar will open with speakers from the Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the University of Melbourne focusing on why we need to ensure optimal wellbeing for all children, what all children need to develop well, what it looks like when things start to go wrong, and how the system can respond. Commentary on the morning sessions will be provided by international guest, Professor Robert Emde.

    Speakers from the Hunter Institute for Mental Health, The Parent-Infant Research Institute at Austin Health, KidsMatter and Charles Sturt University will then provide practical insights into research, programs and resources that are available to inform and assist universal services practitioners to understand infant and child mental health, and to be able to better support children and their families.

    The seminar will conclude with a case study from Goodstart Early Learning, highlighting how they are using the Child & Family Practitioner Program to build on the strengths, skills and resources of early childhood service providers in disadvantaged communities to promote strong, healthy relationships between children, educators, families and communities to enhance infant and child mental health outcomes. 

    View speaker biographies

    International Guest: Professor Robert Emde

    Robert N. Emde, M.D., retired from his position as Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, after a University of Colorado Medical School career of more than 40 years. Dr Emde’s career has involved research on early socio-emotional development and, more recently, the evaluation of early childhood intervention programs. In infant mental health, he chaired an international task group that revised the diagnostic classification system for mental problems of children under age four (DC: 0-3R, Zero to Three Press), published in 2005. He also helped write the national guidelines for Early Head Start and served as Principal Investigator for two university partnerships with Colorado programs, Clayton Mile High-Family Futures and Family Star. Both programs were part of the national randomised trial of 17 Early Head Start sites. 


    Friday 18 March 2016, 9:30am–2:45pm
    Mercure North Melbourne, Cnr Flemington Road and Harker Street, North Melbourne

    Time  Topic and speaker

    Introduction and welcome

    Sue West, Associate Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital and Co-Group Leader, Policy, Equity and Translation, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

    What do all infants and children need for optimal wellbeing?

    Dr Tim Moore, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital

    What happens when things go wrong and how does the system respond?

    Associate Professor Campbell Paul, Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Honorary Principal Fellow, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne

    A commentary in response to presentations

    Professor Robert Emde, Consultant and retired Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Consultant, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Colorado School of Public Health
    Morning tea 

    Building awareness, capability and competency: lessons from Response Ability and Connections

    Dr. Gavin Hazel, Program Manager, Child, Youth and Wellbeing Program, Hunter Institute of Mental Health

    How can early childhood professionals work to support parents in their relationships with their children?

    Jennifer Ericksen, Clinical Psychologist and Manager, Perinatal Mental Health Services and Training, The Parent-Infant Research Institute, Austin Health

    Growing Healthy minds by supporting Good Mental health and wellbeing

    Glenda Grummet, Victorian Facilitator, KidsMatter

    Attachment-based care: what does this look like in pedagogical practice?

    Dr Loraine Fordham, Lecturer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Early Childhood, School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University

    Enhancing vulnerable infant and child mental health outcomes in an early years service 

    Alma-Jane O’Donnell, National Senior Child & Family Practitioner, Goodstart Early Learning and Stephanie Agnello, Assistant Director, Salisbury North Goodstart Early Learning

    Closing address

    Sue West, Associate Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital and Co-Group Leader, Policy, Equity and Translation, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute


    Tickets cost $195 (incl. GST) and $95 (incl. GST) for students. Registrations close Wednesday 16 March

    Register now

    About the Early Years Seminar Series

    Delivered by the Centre for Community Child Health, the Early Years Seminar Series supports early years professionals to improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families.

    The Seminar Series is supported by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training.


Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre for Community Child Health is a department of The Royal Children’s Hospital and a research group of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.