History Of ORIMHA

Oregon Infant Mental Health Association (ORIMHA) was formed by the faculty and students of the first cohort of Portland State University’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Infant Mental Health. The first meeting was held on June 16, 2006 and by-laws were adopted in Fall, 2006. Our website launched in Fall, 2007.


In 2014, we engaged in discussions with the State of Oregon and other stakeholders around bringing to Oregon the endorsement process for infant/toddler mental health professionals. Through a nine-month process of cross-sector representation from state government, academic institutions, and community service providers statewide, the decision was made to purchase the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health endorsement license. Through support from Oregon Health Authority, the Ford Family Foundation, and volunteers, we have been providing endorsement since 2016.

We put on our first training, “Sheltering our youngest: Multidisciplinary responses to stress and trauma in infants, toddlers and their families” in September, 2007. We partnered with State of Oregon’s Health Department for our second training, “Postpartum Mood Disorders” in the Fall of 2009. In the Fall of 2011, we presented “Nurturing Bodies – Opening Hearts: Body Based Interventions with Infants, Toddlers, and Families.”


Some of our early rural scholarship work can be found here in an article for the World Association of Infant Mental Health: Going the Distance: Promoting Rural Participation in the Professional Development of Infant Mental Health Workers