Endorsement History and Overview

Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health (IMH-E®)


Endorsement® History

The Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health® was developed over a 10-year period and launched in 2002.  With funding from the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), the New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health (NMAIMH) adopted the MI-AIMH competencies in 2004, and in 2007 entered into a licensing agreement with the MI-AIMH to implement the endorsement process.  Competency-based endorsement is a reflection of the NMAIMH’s commitment to best practices in the infant and family field.

IMH-E® is a federally registered trademark that indicates that a person has been awarded endorsement by one of the Infant Mental Health Associations that has entered into a licensing agreement with the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH). This exclusive licensing agreement allows the state IMH association to award endorsement to those who reside in their state and meet the Endorsement® criteria. In New Mexico only the NMAIMH has entered into this licensing agreement with the MI-AIMH and can award infant mental health endorsement (IMH-E®). Neither “provisional endorsements” nor “endorsement waivers” can be granted by the NMAIMH.

Use of the registered trademark IMH-E® with or without additional words (i.e., “provisional” or “waivered”) is invalid and unlawful unless the person using IMH-E® has been awarded endorsement by the NMAIMH or another state with a licensing agreement in place with MI-AIMH. All professionals who have earned and maintained endorsement through the NMAIMH are listed on the NMAIMH Registry of Endorsed Professionals.

What is Endorsement®?

Endorsement (IMH-E®) is intended to recognize experiences that lead to competency in the infant-family field. It does not replace licensure or certification, but instead is meant as evidence of a specialization in this field. Endorsement® is cross-sector and multidisciplinary including professionals from child and/or human development, education, nursing, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, social work, counseling, and others. Endorsement® indicates an individual’s efforts to specialize in the promotion/practice of infant mental health within his/her own professional discipline.

Those who have earned Endorsement® have demonstrated that the individual has completed specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences (as defined in Endorsement® criteria) that have led to competency in the promotion and/or practice of infant mental health. Endorsement® does not guarantee the ability to practice as a mental health professional, although many who have earned Endorsement® have also been granted a professional license from the mental health professional licensing entity in their state.

*Upon earning Endorsement®, each Endorsed professional is required to renew Endorsement® annually. Failure to renew Endorsement® will result in being removed from the Endorsement® Registry.

The NMAIMH Endorsement provides information that may be of benefit to employers, parents, health and legal practitioners, and insurance providers who want assurance that the person endorsed has demonstrated specialized expertise related to the social and emotional development of infants and young children in relationship with their parents/primary caregivers. The NMAIMH endorses professionals from many disciplines.

Endorsement® Categories

There are four categories of the NMAIMH Endorsement®:

1. Infant Family Associate
2. Infant Family Specialist
3. Infant Mental Health Specialist
4. Infant Mental Health Mentor

Each category recognizes the educational experiences, specialized in-service training experiences, and work experiences appropriate for best service outcomes for infants, very young children, and families. Detailed information about the requirements for specialized education, work, in-service training, and reflective supervision/consultation experiences are different at each category and can be found under Competencies & Requirements.

NMAIMH endorsement decisions are not made on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, marital status, physical ability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by state or federal law.

The NMAIMH gratefully acknowledges support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to MI-AIMH toward the creation of the Endorsement materials, as well as the support of MI-AIMH as the NMAIMH continues to implement the endorsement system.

click here for information on Endorsement Renewal


For information or if you have questions: Contact the NMAIMH Endorsement Coordinator at endorse@nmaimh.org or contact us.

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