Policy Resource

Ohio and Colorado Increase Investment in Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Sep 20, 2016

In an effort to promote healthy social and emotional development and school readiness among young children, Ohio and Colorado increased funding for early childhood mental health consultation in 2016.

In January 2016, Ohio awarded $9.1 million to strengthen early childhood mental health services. The funding called for the addition of up to 64 mental health consultants to work with teachers, staff and families of at-risk children in early care and education settings. The state also planned to establish a centralized intake process and hire up to seven master trainers to oversee professional development services statewide, which has since been enacted. The centralized intake system serves as a single point of entry for access and referral in a local area to family support services. Learn more in this State Initiative article focused on the central intake system.

The Colorado legislature passed a supplemental budget request in January 2016 to double the state-funded ECMH consultation program from 17 to 34 consultants. Consultants are based out of the 14 Community Mental Health Centers and four community-based organizations across the state and provide services in the community, home, and early learning environment. The program focuses on developing and strengthening the social emotional skills of young children through timely screening and assessment, increasing the parent and the early learning provider’s ability to manage difficult behaviors, and connecting families to other community resources.

Learn more about early childhood mental health on ZERO TO THREE’s website here.

Reviewed May 2018.

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