FEATURED INITIATIVES

Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development

Diversifying and expanding the IECMH clinical workforce in Washington and neighboring states.

The mission of the Barnard Center, located in the University of Washington School of Nursing, is to promote interdisciplinary research and training related to infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). Through a five-year grant, Perigee Fund supports the Barnard Center’s Advanced Clinical Training (ACT) Program.

The development of the ACT Program offers the field of IECMH the opportunity to reimagine and re-envision what it takes to grow and support an IECMH clinical workforce that is representative of the full range of diversity in Washington state specifically, and around the country. Faculty have focused on developing a comprehensive professional development program, structured as a learning community, that offers the latest from the developmental sciences, relational health and well-being, and psychoanalytic/psychodynamic clinical perspectives, integrating relationship-based, developmentally-informed IECMH foundational and clinical knowledge and skills with principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonization.

In its mission to diversify and expand the IECMH clinical workforce in Washington state, there was a clear need to address, in the program curriculum and structure, the historical and contemporary influences of systemic oppression and structural inequities embedded in ways of being, learning, teaching, healing, growing, and being in relationship.

ACT’s inaugural cohort of 16 clinicians come from and practice in a diversity of regions across Washington and three neighboring states. The faculty and staff will continue to expand efforts to recruit and enroll IECMH clinicians from underrepresented communities for subsequent cohorts.

“I feel so grateful to have this opportunity to experience the depth and thoughtfulness of the material being presented & the style and manner it is offered. I feel the kindness, generosity, and belonging in this group. Thank you both [instructors] for the time, energy, thoughtfulness, and dedication that you bring to the ACT program.”

Letha Gillisse
ACT Program participant and IECMH Consultant to early care and education centers