Part 3: Early Childhood & Mental Health
Babies enter this world with an innate readiness to build connections and form relationships. From the very moment of birth, children embark on a journey of shaping their social responses, self-discovery, and understanding of the world. However, for those experiencing homelessness, the challenges and obstacles faced in nurturing these fundamental developmental processes become even more pronounced. In fact, children who experience homelessness have significantly higher rates of emotional, behavioral, and immediate and long-term health problems.
Our own Director of Education Initiatives, Erin Patterson, shares a message about mental health advocacy of our infants, toddlers, and their families.
“It can be daunting enough for adults to talk about their mental health. For an infant or toddler, it’s impossible. While 90% of brain development is happening in those first three years, the stress and trauma of homelessness can take a devastating toll on their wellbeing, both now and for the rest of their lives.”
Early Childhood Resources
- Young Children Experiencing Homelessness: An Overview
- Infants and Toddler Experiencing Homelessness: Prevalence and Access to Early Learning across Twenty States
- Early Childhood Webinars:
Want to act but don’t know where to start? Use SHC’s Child and Youth Homelessness Data Profiles tool to learn how young children in your state are impacted by homelessness.