National Network for Infant Mental Health was established in 2006. The main objective of the network is to provide effective assistance as early as possibleto infants and toddlers and their families with special emphasis on those who are the most vulnerable and in need.
Infant mental health can be defined as the small child's capacity to experience , regulate and express emotions, form close and secure relationships and to explore their surroundings and learn ( Zero to Three ) .
Today there is broad scientific consensus that key conditions for children to develop their potentials and good mental health is to live in a safe, sensitive and responsive and caring environment both at home with their family and in day care. However, there is a gap between the knowledge that exists about mental health problems and disorders in infancy, and the actual discovery and intervention rate. Thus the networks aim is to enhance competence, knowledge dissemination and support for health services, in addition to conducting research.
The network's tasks are:
• Conducting systematic knowledge dissemination and implementation of assessment tools and treatment methods in municipal health services, substance abuse services, child welfare services and mental health services for children and youngsters.
• Strengthening research on early identification and treatment for vulnerable groups.
• Conducting prospective, longitudinal studies of infants and toddlers, with a focus on applied clinical research.
• Providing knowledge on vulnerable infants and toddlers and their families to the practice field through research of high international quality.
The network is organized as a separate department of the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Eastern and Southern Norway (RBUP ) and consists of two research sections and a section for education and quality . The network has four regional hubs with positions at RKBU West, RKBU Central Norway and RKBU North.