Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

‍‍‍Everyone can take action to promote and protect infant and early childhood mental health where we live, work and play.

Check out the information to learn what you can do to support and model positive mental health for infants and young children.

 

The Brain Story Certification logo

 

Created by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. This free online course is for professionals and the public. The Brain story provides a deeper understanding of infant and early child brain development and its connection to addiction and mental health.

To register or for more information, please visit Brain Story Certification web page. 

 

Other Courses
Trauma Informed Practice

The consequences of trauma are far reaching and can be directly or indirectly linked to mental illness, addictions, chronic disease, suicide, and overall, a failure to thrive.
The purpose of the Trauma Informed Care course is to increase knowledge about trauma and the impact it has by creating connection, sharing knowledge and resources.

To register or for more information, please visit Alberta Health Services web page. 

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Healh (IECMH) Guides for Professionals

Introduction to the guide

Mental health refers to striking a balance in all aspects of one’s life: socially, physically, spiritually, economically and mentally1.

It is more than the absence of a mental health condition or illness. Infants and young children have mental health. It is the “developing capacity of the child, from birth to six years of age, to form close and secure adult and peer relationships to experience, manage and express a full range of emotions, and to explore the environment and learn – all in the context of family, community, and culture2.”

It is also important to recognize that brain development begins in pregnancy. Therefore, the prenatal period must also be considered in relation to IECMH.

The purpose of this guide is to provide support and information to professionals when they have the conversation about IECMH and its interrelated components.

 

References

  1. Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health for all [Internet]. Ottawa, ON; 2005-2016 [cited 2016 Nov 2016] Available from https://cmha.ca/resources/
  2. Clinton J, Kays-Burden A, Carter C, Bhasin K, Cairney J, Carrey N, Janus M, Kulkarni C, Williams R. (November 2014). Supporting Ontario’s youngest minds: Investing in the mental health of children under 6. [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health: [cited 2016 Nov 16]. Available from http://www.excellenceforchildandyouth.ca/sites/default/files/policy_early_years.pd 
Individual Guides 
Complete Set  
Infographics
 
Centre of the Developing Child: Harvard University 
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Healh (IECMH) Infographic
View (IECMH) Infographic Text
 

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Infants and young children have mental health. It is the developing capacity of the child from birth to six years of age to form close and secure adult and peer relationships, experience, manage and express a full range of emotions, and explore the environment and learn - all in the context of family, community and culture1. It is comprised of multiple interrelated components.

It is also important to recognize that brain development begins in pregnancy. Therefore, the prenatal period must also be considered in relation to infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH).  

Perinatal mental health: refers to the mental health of the mother pre pregnancy, during pregnancy, and in the postpartum period2.

Parental mental health: is more than the absence of a mental health condition or illness; it refers to striking a balance in all aspects of the caregiver's life: socially, physically, spiritually, economically and mentally3.

Brain development: Brain Development begins in pregnancy and undergoes its most rapid period of growth during the first 2000 days - It is the most important time of brain growth4.

Attachment: Is a deep and lasting connection babies form with their caregivers. Babies need to feel safe, cared for, and protected. When caregivers respond consistently in a manner that is warm and sensitive a secure attachment develops. A secure attachment is foundational to positive developmental outcomes and future relationships with peers and partners5.

Temperament: Is a set of personality traits that people are born with. A child's temperament can shape their outcomes and influence how others respond to them5.

Self-regulation: Refers to how efficiently and effectively children deal with stressors and then recover from them6.

Resiliency: Develops over time and is the ability to bounce back from adversity in a positive way5.

Sense of agency: Is the child's ability to make choices and decisions that have an influence in their environment. It is linked to having a sense of control over matters that affect them7.

Mental illness and poor mental health is a problem... 

In Ottawa

  • Since 2010, mental health emergency visits at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario have increased by 75%8.
  • In the last year, 45% of children who accessed Crossroads Children's Centre walk-in clinic were under the age of 6. In their intensive home based program, supporting families with severe challenges, 30% of the children are also under the age of 69.
  • In 2015-16, 17% of children under the age of 6, who accessed Centre Psychosocial, were referred to the early screening program. 50% of these children were referred to other agencies for specialized developmental assessments or services10.
  • Based on Early Development Instrument (EDI) data, one in four (26%) children are vulnerable in one or more areas of their development as they enter school11.
  • One in eight (12%) of grade 7-12 students had seriously considered suicide in 201312.

In Canada

  • 70% of mental health problems start during childhood or adolescence13.
  • The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and more than 7 times that of all infectious diseases13.

Poor mental health also costs our economy...

  • In Ontario the annual cost of alcohol-related health care, law enforcement, corrections, lost productivity, and other problems is estimated to be at least $5 billion13.
  • In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems13.
  • The economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life13.

The evidence is clear that prevention and early intervention are important1...

  • Economists have shown that high-quality early childhood programs bring impressive returns on investment to the public. Studies found a range $4 to $9 return on investment for every dollar invested in early learning programs for low-income children14.
  • Early interventions such as parenting programs have a higher economic rate of return to society than interventions offered later in life such as remedial education, prisoner rehabilitation, and public job training programs15.

Don't wait. Starting early can change the trajectory of a child's mental health.

  • From conception to age 6 is the most influential time in brain development. Early experiences especially in the first 2000 days 4 can have an effect on the wiring and sculpting of the brain that can influence a child's learning, behaviour and health for a lifetime16.
  • The developing brain makes 1 million new brain connections every second14.

As a community... Let's talk about infant and early childhood mental health!

Where do we go from here1...

  • Adopt and promote the common definition of infant and early child mental health across all sectors.
  • Invest in training the infant and early childhood mental health workforce, recognizing the many roles and sectors with a direct stake in infant and early childhood mental health.
  • Ensure the provision of infant and early childhood mental health promotion, prevention and intervention in all service areas.
  • Engage families and caregivers together with service providers in developing and implementing infant and early childhood mental health policy and system planning.
  • Strengthen data collection, monitoring and research on infant and early childhood mental health and improve communication among ministries.

References

For more information on the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative in Ottawa or a complete reference list, please contact:

Marisa Moher, Steering Committee (Secretariat)

Mindmasters 2

MindMasters2 is a mental health promotion resource that helps children to master emotional regulation through relaxation, positive thinking and mindfulness.

It introduces children to these skills in fun and age-appropriate ways. With practice, children can use these skills on their own, in a variety of settings throughout their lifetime.

MindMasters 2 was developed by the Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. It is now a program of Ottawa Public Health. It is designed for adults (both parents and professionals) to use with children ages 4-9 years. 

It includes a guidebook (with instructions, discussion questions and link to the Ontario Elementary curriculum) printable templates and media files (audio tracks, videos, songs).

Guidebook
Media Files
 
Audio Tracks
Transcript
Find a comfortable position and listen to my voice. We’re going to play a quiet game called “Spaghetti Toes”.

Have you ever seen spaghetti before it’s cooked? It’s hard and easy to break.

What about after it’s cooked? It’s soft and wiggly.

I want to see if you can make your toes hard like uncooked spaghetti. Tell your toes to become stiff and hard like uncooked spaghetti. Curl your toes tightly.

Now, tell your legs to go stiff and hard like uncooked spaghetti. Straighten your legs in front of your body.

How do you feel? Do you feel very tense or nervous?

Tell your bottom to become hard like uncooked spaghetti. Tighten your muscles in your behind or bum.

Raise your shoulders and make them hard like uncooked spaghetti.

Now tell your fingers to become hard and stiff like uncooked spaghetti. Curl your fingers into a fist.

How do you feel?

This is what your body does when you are very angry or upset.

Now let’s relax together. Tell your toes to go soft and sleepy like warm spaghetti. Tell your toes to wiggle. Are they listening?

Good. Tell them to stop wiggling and to go warm and soft like cooked spaghetti.

Wiggle one leg. Tell that leg to go soft and sleepy like warm spaghetti. Now wiggle your other leg. Stop, and tell it to go soft and sleepy like cooked spaghetti.

Wiggle your behind. Now, tell it to go soft and sleepy.

Tell your shoulders to go soft like warm spaghetti. Roll your shoulders. Let your shoulders drop.

Wiggle your fingers. Now, tell your fingers to relax. Let your fingers go soft and still, like warm spaghetti in your plate.

Let your whole body become soft, still, and relaxed, just like warm spaghetti.

Breathe in.

*Inhale*

Breathe out

*Exhale*

Breathe in.

*Inhale *

Breathe out

*Exhale*

Keep breathing slowly. When you are scared or angry, or something hurts, your body becomes very hard and stiff like uncooked spaghetti. You can make yourself feel much better by telling your fingers and toes and your whole body to go soft and sleepy like warm spaghetti.  Practice spaghetti toes when you want to calm down and make bad feelings go away, or when you are in bed and want to sleep. The more you practice making your muscles go soft and sleepy like warm spaghetti, the better you will be at relaxing.
Transcript
Find a comfortable position. Close your eyes and listen to my voice. We’re going to play “Jelly Belly”.

Breathe in slowly

*Inhale*

Breathe out slowly

*Exhale*

Tell your belly and your body to be very quiet. Gently put one hand on top of your belly button. Let your hand rest on your belly. Does your hand feel warm?

*Pause*

Good.

Breathe in.

*Inhale*

Breathe out.

*Exhale*

Breathe in.

*Inhale*

Breathe out.

*Exhale*

Did your hand move in and out each time you took a breath?

*Pause*

Keep going.

Breathe in, let your belly push your hand out slowly.

Breathe out, let your hand sink in

Breathe in, let your belly push your hand out slowly.

Breathe out, let your hand sink in

Breathe in, feel your belly slowly fill right up to your belly button, feel your belly slowly pull your hand way out. Breathe out, let your belly sink way in.  Breathe in, feel your belly gently push your hand way out. Breathe out, feel your belly sink way in.

Breathe in, belly way out. Breathe out, belly way in

Breathe in, belly way out. Breathe out, belly way in

Breathe in, belly way out. Breathe out, belly way in

Good. You feel very calm, you feel good. Your body feels calm.

The more you talk to your body, the more it listens. You are the boss of your body and your belly!

Keep breathing, *inhale* *exhale* as I tell you how Jelly Belly can help you.

Jelly Belly can help you whenever you want to relax or be calm or go to sleep.  Whenever you are worried or scared or something hurts, do Jelly Belly.  If you do Jelly Belly often, you will get better and better at calming yourself down.  

As you breathe out, try saying “Relax”.  Use Jelly Belly every day to make yourself feel calm.
Transcript
Find a comfortable position. Close your eyes and listen to my voice. This activity is called “My Special Place”.

Today we are going to visit a special place. This special place is a happy place, a quiet place, a beautiful place. This place is somewhere you always feel happy and calm and safe. We are going to visit this place in our minds.

Think about a place where you feel very safe and calm and happy. Where are you?

*Pause*

This is your special place. It can be your bedroom, outside, your favourite tree, the beach or somewhere else.

Pretend you are in your special place right now. What do you see?

*Pause*

What do you hear?

*Pause*

What do you feel?

*Pause*

You feel good. You feel strong. You feel calm.

When you come back from visiting your special place, you will feel strong and in control. You are not scared. No matter what happens, you will be okay. You are good. You do lots of things well and you will be okay.

Open your eyes.

Now that you are back from your special place, remember how it made you feel. You feel happy and hopeful and calm. You decide how you want to feel!

Visit your special place whenever you feel scared or worried or sad. Remember how you feel when you visit your special place. 

Transcript
Find a comfortable position and listen as I tell you a story about treasure hunting!

There once was a pirate named Pete. Pete was a very famous pirate. Not many people had ever meet Pete, but everyone had heard of Pete and his riches. All of the other pirates talked about Pete and his many chests of treasures and boat of gold.

One day, a young girl named Lucinda decided she wanted to meet Pete the Pirate. So she packed some food and set out on her boat to find Pete. She sailed and sailed, dreaming about all the gold coins and rubies she would find. She sailed past small boats and big boats and even bigger boats, but she saw no gold boats.

She was almost out of food when she came across a small brown row boat. She asked the man,

LUCINDA: Have you seen Pete the Pirate?

PETE: Yes, I’ve seen him!

LUCINDA: I’ve heard he’s very rich!

PETE: Oh he is! He has many treasures.

Lucinda squealed with excitement

*Squeal*

LUCINDA: Where can I find him?

PETE: Glad to meet you, my name’s Pete.

Lucinda didn’t understand. He lived on a small row boat and wore rags for clothes.

PETE: I’ve become rich by looking for treasures each day. To find treasure, you have to look for all the good things you do or see or hear or feel each day. Why just this morning I found many treasures!

LUCINDA: How?

PETE: Open your eyes and take notice of all the good things in life, the things that make you feel happy. Take a moment to think about these things, and they will become your treasures, which you can keep forever!

LUCINDA: What about the gold? And silver? And Rubies?

PETE: Real treasures are good memories. Like when I woke up this morning and the sun was shining, that was my first treasure of the day! I caught a fish for lunch and that was my second.

Lucinda stared in amazement.

PETE: Would you like to know the best treasure I found all day?

LUCINDA: Yes!

PETE: I met you.

The end.

Remember to look for highlights or good things in life each day. Take a moment to appreciate or smile about these moments and they will become treasures! If you are feeling sad or bored, look for highlights! If you take the time to go ‘treasure hunting’ you will feel much happier.

Transcript
Find a comfortable position. Breathe easily and slowly. Close your eyes and listen as I tell you the Umbalakiki Story.

I once lived in a jungle village in a country called Papua, New Guinea. The people lived in huts made from trees. The roofs of the huts were made from palm leaves and they had no TVs or cellphones or even bathtubs in their houses. The weather was always warm and there were lots of fruit trees. The people were very happy and laughed a lot. The children played lots of games together.

Whenever the children finished playing games, all the children got together in a circle. One child would gently touch each child in the circle, on the arm, and say “Umbalakiki”. Umbalakiki means “I take it from you”. She or he would then put her hand against a nearby tree. The reason they did this was to take away any unhappy or uncomfortable feelings that came up during the game. This was a good way to take away any bad feelings, just in case any children were feeling bad. They called this “treeing it”.

The village chief told me that the people have been doing this for a very long time! He told me that dealing with their uncomfortable feelings helps his people to live happily with each other and to be happy with themselves.

You can use Umbalakiki to feel better too! If you are worried, upset, or angry about something in a sport, at home, in school, or in a program, walk over to a tree or wall and tree it. As you touch the wall or tree, pretend you are putting all of your uncomfortable feelings into that tree or wall for right now, then smile and walk away. You have put your uncomfortable feelings away for now so that you can do other things. You have treed your uncomfortable feelings because right now they are not helping you. If you need to later, you can go back to the tree or wall and take these feelings back and think about them some more.

Let’s try. Think of a worry or unhappy feeling that you have, or that you once had. Can you think of one?

*Pause*

In your mind, pretend that you are taking that worry or uncomfortable feeling and putting in on the tree. Imagine that you are touching your hand on the tree and say to yourself “ Umbalakiki, one two three, now my feeling is in the tree”. Now you can let go of your uncomfortable feeling. When the wind blows, the leaves will shake and your uncomfortable feelings will float away.

Sometimes, a feeling can be too big for the tree. If your feeling is too big, talk to an adult you trust instead, like a parent or teacher or neighbour.

For all other feeling, remember “Umbalakiki one two three, now my feeling is in the tree”. Say it with me “Umbalakiki, one two three, now my feeling is in the tree.”
Transcript
Close your eyes and be very quiet. Breathe in slowly. Breathe out slowly. Listen to my voice as I talk to you about changing channels.

Sometimes we feel very happy, excited and good. Other times we feel very nervous, angry or sad and we don’t feel well. It’s okay to feel all of these ways. Just like there are different movies and TV shows - some that are funny and make us laugh, others that are sad and make us cry, and others that are very fast and make us feel excited, we have many different feelings.

These different feelings are like different TV shows or channels. These channels though, are inside of your head. Just like a TV or computer or tablet, you can change the channel! To change the channel in your head, press your hands down on your belly button – and think about something else.

If you are on a worry channel and don’t want to worry, think about a place or person or thing that makes you feel calm.

Take a deep breath in and out.

Let’s practice changing channels!

Pretend you are feeling grumpy. You are on a mad channel. Press your hands against your belly button and think of something special you did this week.

How did that make you feel?

*PAUSE*

Pretend that you are doing that activity. You feel calm.

Good!

What channel do you want to be on today?

*PAUSE*

Press your hands against your belly button. Change to the channel that you want to be on today. Try to stay on this channel.

Open your eyes and remember that you if you need to, you can change your channel by pressing on your belly button and thinking about something else. 

Transcript

Close your eyes and listen as I talk to you about changing channels.

Earlier you learned about changing channels by pressing your hands against your belly button and thinking of something that makes you feel good and happy and calm. I am going to talk to you about another way to change your channel.

It’s okay to feel sad or mad or nervous, but when we feel this way, it’s important to show or tell others, in a way that’s helpful.

Let me tell you about Mohammed.

Mohammed was playing soccer with his friends at recess. Josh wasn’t playing fair and pushed Mohammed when he had the ball. Mohammed curled his hands into fists and felt very hot. Then, he ran over to Josh and pushed him back. Josh fell down and scraped his knee. The teacher told both of them they had to stay inside for the next recess.

What could Mohammed have done differently?

*Pause*

The stoplight! The stoplight is something that can help you show or tell others how you are feeling, without hurting anyone or making anyone feel badly.

When something happens that makes you feel very angry or sad or frustrated, try changing the channel by pressing your hands against your belly button and thinking of something that makes you feel calm or happy. If that doesn’t work, use the stoplight! A stoplight has three colours – red, yellow and green.

Red means STOP! Ask yourself, what am I feeling?

Why do you feel this way? What happened?

Next is yellow. Yellow means slow down and THINK.

Take a deep breath and think, what’s the best way to deal with this feeling?

Next is green. Green means GO.

Go do it!

Let’s think about Mohammed again, and how his story would have gone differently if he used the stoplight to change his channel.

Mohammed was playing soccer with his friends at recess. Josh wasn’t playing fair and pushed Mohammed when he had the ball. Mohammed curled his hands into fists and felt very hot.

But this time, he thought of the stoplight! He quietly said “STOP” to himself. Then he said, I am mad because Josh pushed me and that isn’t playing fair. THINK – Mohammed thought, what can I do? I can tell him the rules of the game. GO – Mohammed ran over to Josh and said, “No pushing allowed”. He felt much better and the boys continued to play soccer. Josh didn’t push Mohammed again all game.

Let’s try using the stoplight to change channels!

Think of something that makes you feel very angry or frustrated or sad.

STOP. How do you feel? I feel….

*PAUSE*

Why do you feel this way?

Because…..

*PAUSE*

THINK, what can you do so that you feel better?

I can….

Go!

Pretend you are trying out your solution.

How do you feel?

*PAUSE*

You feel good and calm.

Next time something makes you feel very sad or angry or frustrated and want to change channels, remember the stoplight, STOP-THINK-GO! 

Transcript

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and listen.

Animals can teach us a lot about ourselves. Some animals are very small, some are very big, some are black and white, others are red, blue and yellow, but no matter what shape, size or colour, each animal shares something in common with us.

Bears are strong and so are we.

Repeat after me,
I am strong like a bear. 
*Pause (kids repeat)*
*Animal sound*

Lions are brave and so are we.

Repeat after me,

I am brave like a lion.

*Pause (kids repeat)*
*Animal sound*

Owls are wise and so are we.

Repeat after me,

I am wise like an owl.

*Pause (kids repeat)*
*Animal sound*

Monkeys are silly and so are we.

Repeat after me,

I am silly like a monkey.

*Pause (kids repeat)*
*Animal sound*

Great job! Always remember that you can be strong, brave, wise and silly just like the animals.  

Think about your favourite animals and what you have in common with them! Make your own sentences and say these to yourself when you are feeling upset or sad and want to feel better.

Transcript

Find a comfortable position and listen to my voice. We are going to play a listening game.  What sounds do you hear? How many different animals did you hear? Listen closely.

Ready? Let's Begin.

*Audio of different animal sounds*

  1. Frog croaking.
  2. Cat meowing.
  3. Dog barking.
  4. Rooster crowing.
  5. Cow mooing.
  6. Snake slithering.
  7. Bird chirping.
  8. Lion roaring.
  9. Horse braying.
  10. Pig oinking.

How many animals did you hear?

*Pause*

Did you guess 10?

What animals did you hear?

*Pause*

There was a frog, a cat, a dog, a rooster, a cow, a snake, a bird, a lion, a horse, and a pig!

Did you guess them all?

*Pause*

Now, on the count of one two three, make your favourite animal sound. Ready? One two three

*Pause*

You can make your family and friends very happy just by listening. Think about how good it makes you feel when others really listen to you.

Transcript

Mindfulness, or paying close attention on the present moment can help us to feel calm. There are many different ways to be mindful, like listening when someone is speaking or focusing on an activity.

Listen carefully as I clap the following patterns. Then, repeat the pattern.

Ready?

Let’s begin.

*Clap X 3 *

Now, repeat the pattern

*Pause*

Did you remember the pattern?

*Short pause*

Let’s try another!

*Clap X 2 –Pause- Clap X2*

Now, repeat the pattern.

*Pause*

Another!

*Clap X 3 -Pause- Clap X 3 –Pause- Clap X 3*

*Pause*

Are you ready for one last pattern?

*Short Pause*

*Clap X 1 – Pause- Clap X2 – Pause- Clap X 1 – Pause – Clap X2 *

Go ahead.

*Pause*

Thanks for practicing your listening! Try this activity with a friend and make your own patterns. Practice being mindful each day by really listening to what others are saying, listening to a song, or really focusing on sounds that you hear each day– like cars zooming by, dogs barking or leaves shaking in the wind.
Transcript
Let’s try some more difficult patterns. Listen carefully while I clap the following patterns. 

*Clap X 3 - Pause – Clap X 1 - Pause -Clap X 3- Pause – Clap X 1 *

Now repeat the pattern.

*Pause*

* Clap X 4 – Pause- Clap X 1 – Pause- Clap X 1 – Pause – Clap X 4*

*Pause*

Finally, our last pattern!

* Clap X 5 –pause – Clap X 3 pause- Clap X 1 pause – Clap X 5 pause- Clap X 3- Pause- Clap X 1*

*Pause*

Remember to practice being mindful each day by listening to different sounds and focusing while completing an activity.
Video

Animal Yoga

Transcript

Today we are going to do some animal yoga.

Breathe in and out slowly as you go through the poses.

Ready?

Let’s begin.

Butterfly

  • Sit on your bottom, with your legs straight out in front of you. Place the palms of your hands together.
  • Bend one leg so that the bottom of your foot rests against your other leg.
  • Bring the other leg in, so that your feet are touching. Sit up tall and straight.
  • Gently lift and lower your knees like a butterfly flapping its wings. Breathe in and out slowly.

Dog

  • Place your knees and hands on the ground.
  • Spread your fingers out and curl your toes.
  • Lift your legs off the floor as you breathe in and out slowly. Push your bottom up.
  • Breathe in and out slowly. Release.

Lion

  • Bend your knees and kneel on your behind, with your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Lift your hands from the ground and sit up on your knees. Hold your arms out in front of you like a mighty lion.

Repeat.

Mouse

  • Kneel, keeping your body upright.
  • Now, sit down on your heels and relax. Let your shoulders roll down or slump.
  • Lower your body until your head touches the floor. Hug your knees and each time you breathe, bring your chest closer and closer to your knees. Make yourself small like a mouse!

Cat

  • Place yourself on all fours. Keep your back flat and your stomach tight. Breathe in.
  • Arch your back by tucking your stomach in and bringing your chin to your chest. Breathe out.

Repeat.

Giraffe

  • Begin on all fours with your hands and knees touching the ground, fingers apart and head up.
  • Reach one hand up to the sky, keeping your fingers spread.
  • Return that hand to the floor.
  • Raise your other hand to the sky, keeping your fingers spread.
  • Return that hand to the floor.

Repeat.

Advanced Poses:

Blue Whale

  • Lie down on your back and take some deep breaths.
  • Now bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor.
  • Breathe in and lift your back off the ground. Breathe out slowly, like a whale breathing through its blow hole.
  • Lift your right leg and straighten it. Point your toes.
  • Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the ground. Raise your other leg, and straighten it.
  • Lower your leg and place your foot on the ground.
  • Finish the pose by hugging your knees to your chest.

Snake

  • Lay on your belly. Take a deep breath.
  • Breathe out and lift your head and neck up. Place your hands firmly on the ground.
  • Arch your back and look forward or slightly up.
  • Take a deep breath in and out. Release.

Camel

  • Kneel down, with your bottom resting on your feet. Place your hands on your knees.
  • Sit up on your knees, and place your hands on your hips.
  • Slowly raise one arm up and arch your back.
  • Circle both arms back and touch your toes.
  • Look up to the sky and keep your back arched.
  • Now release, and curl into a ball. Hug your knees and keep your head down. Breathe slowly.
Songs
Transcript

Sometimes it rains

And you get down

You don’t feel nice and that’s alright

Cause it can turn around

You can control (You can control)

The way things seem

Changing the channels of your mind like a

Human TV

 

You can decide how you feel

Cause your emotions are real

It’s time you look deep inside,

Sometimes you feel down in life

Soon we’ll be doing it right

 

Woah oh oh

you could be sunshine

Woah oh oh

Sittin’ on top of the

wor-oo-orld

You’ve got the power to deal

With these emotions you feel

 

And if you’re feeling down, stop!

The light is red

You’re feeling mad a little sad

Figure out what’s up in your head

 

Yellow light now

So slow it down (Slow it down)

Think about what you can do to make it

Better now

 

And once you figure it out

No need to scream or shout

You’ve gotta cool off that steam

Since you don’t wanna be mean,

Soon as the light turns green..

GO

 

Woah oh oh

you could be sunshine

Woah oh oh

sittin on top of the

wor-oo-orld

You’ve got the power to deal

With these emotions you feel

 

Woah oh oh

you could be sunshine

Woah oh oh

sittin on top of the

wor-oo-orld

You’ve got the power to deal

With these emotions you feel

 

I see that you’re down

I see you’re feeling it

But you’ve got the power of

Emotions you can deal with it

 

I see that you’re down

I see you’re feeling it

But you’ve got the power of

Emotions you can deal with it

 

You can deal with it

 

Woah oh oh

you could be sunshine

Woah oh oh

sittin on top of the

wor-oo-orld

You’ve got the power to deal

With these emotions you feel

 

Woah oh oh

you could be sunshine

Woah oh oh

sittin on top of the

wor-oo-orld

You’ve got the power to deal

With these emotions you feel

Transcript

If you’re feeling down

Sad as can be

Let me take away the bad feelings

And throw them in the tree

Umbalakiki

*Clap *Clap

Umbalakiki

*Clap *Clap

Let me take away the bad feelings

And throw them in the tree

It's ok to be angry

it can happen any day,

but let's focus and be happy,

We're treeing it hooray!"

Umbalakiki

*Clap *Clap

Umbalakiki

*Clap *Clap

For today let’s all be happy

We’re treeing it hooray 

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The Pause.Moments Matter in the Life of a Child campaign was developed, in collaboration with the Ottawa Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) initiative, to raise awareness about the importance of IECMH. 

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Screening Tools
  • The Ages and Stages Questionnaires™ (ASQ) are used to screen young children in ages 1 month to 6 years to help determine if a young child's development is on schedule – or if further evaluation may be needed. It is also used to help parents together with providers, learn more about a child's strengths and areas that may need support.
  • The Looksee Checklist® (formerly Nipissing District Developmental Screen®-NDDS) is a short and simple checklist. It reviews a child's growth and development at a specific age (up to 6 years old).
  • The First Words Communication Checkup is an online screening tool available to families of children aged 6 months to 5 years living in the city of Ottawa. Use it to check a child’s speech, language, social communication, fine and gross motor skills.
  • The NutriSTEP® is simple checklist. It looks at a child's eating, physical activity, screen time habits and more.
  • The Healthy Smiles for Young Children (18 to 36 months) (PDF 131 KB) screening tool can help to detect dental problems. It allows you to get treatment for a child sooner. Dental health is important for a child's health and school readiness.
  • The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is a set of 10 screening questions that can indicate whether a parent has symptoms that are common in women with depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the year following the birth of a child. This is not intended to provide a diagnosis – only trained health professionals should do this.
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