Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Serving students in Greene County. ”
The Greene County Educational Service Center is offering high quality mental health consultation to early care and education programs so they have the tools needed to help children to be successful. Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) is a multi-level preventive intervention that teams mental health professionals with people who work with young children and their families to improve their social-emotional and behavioral health and development. ECMHC builds the capacity of providers and families to understand the powerful influence of their relationships and interactions on young children’s development. Children’s well-being is improved and mental health problems are prevented and/or reduced as a result of the mental health consultant’s partnership with adults in children’s lives.
ECMHC includes skilled observations, individualized strategies, and early identification of children with and at risk for mental health challenges. The model also includes strengthening of the teacher-family relationship and connecting young children, teachers, and families to additional mental or behavioral health services, as needed. The amount of time a consultant spends with a program/teacher varies depending on need, but most programs range between three and six months, with visits once or twice a week. Empirical evidence has found that ECMHC is effective in increasing children’s social skills, reducing children’s challenging behavior, preventing preschool suspensions and expulsions, improving child-adult relationships, and identifying child concerns early, so that children get the supports they need as soon as possible. In addition, the model has been found effective in reducing teacher stress, burnout, and turnover.
The links below provide information and resources on ECMHC:
• OhioMHAS Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation http://mha.ohio.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=279
• Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation http://www.ecmhc.org/
• Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Research Synthesis http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/documents/rs_ecmhc.pdf
• Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development: Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation http://gucchd.georgetown.edu/67637.html
• Issue Brief: Integrating Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with the Pyramid Model http://challengingbehavior.fmhi.usf.edu/do/resources/documents/brief_integrating.pdf
I am glad to introduce myself and the services being offering by Greene County Educational Service Center. My name is Grace Schoessow and I am a part of the Mental Health Services team. I hold the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation credential for the state of Ohio; have 15 years of experience working in the early childhood field; and a background is in early intervention and clinical psychology. I will be providing Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) to early care and learning programs in the Fairborn community. This is part of the statewide effort to improve social and emotional readiness for learning by addressing the mental health and wellbeing of children and their caregivers in the early years. As an Early Childhood Professional- Level V trainer, I will be able to provide free on-site SUTQ and PD trainings for staff, as well as parenting programs for families. I have a deep appreciation of the dedication and love for children that brings early childcare professionals to the field. As early childcare professionals we share a commitment to providing children with a safe and healthy start to life and working together we can face the challenges.
Healthy social and emotional development plays a key role in a child’s ability to enter kindergarten ready to learn. In order to succeed, a child needs to function within group settings, interact positively with peers and adults, control impulses, exhibit self-confidence and be willing to take risks in learning new and often challenging tasks. ECMHC will help Fairborn community early care and learning providers and families meet the social, emotional and developmental needs of young children by building protective factors with a culturally sensitive, strength-based approach. The Greene County Educational Service Center, with funding from the Safe Schools/ Healthy Students Initiative (SAMHSA grant) and the support of ODE, OhioMHAS, and local partnering agencies will provide the ECMHC service at no direct cost to the participating Early Learning Programs or their families. The ECMHC mission is to invest in social and emotional health in the early years to help our community have safe classrooms and healthy students ready to learn.
Greene County ESC’s ECMHC represents a localized expansion of the program Ohio implemented in 2000. The program’s objectives are to build protective factors in young children, increase skills of parents, and promote the competencies of early childhood providers, especially for children ages birth to six years who are at risk for abuse, neglect and poor social and emotional health. ECMHC targets the healthy social and emotional development of all young children in Ohio to ensure they thrive and are ready for school by collaborating with early childhood providers to help them address challenging child behaviors. ECMH Consultation services include child-family centered consultation and programmatic consultation. Services are tailored to meet the Early Learning Center’s needs, and can include on-site child and family focused technical assistance to parents, early childhood educators and staff; resources for parents, including referrals for therapy or health services; and training and professional development. ECMHC offers interventions for children with behavioral differences and sensory needs in partnership with educators and families. ECMH also responds to programmatic needs, which include providing stress reduction sessions, family enrichment activities, and coaching positive interactions with children.
I look forward to being of assistance.