Policy Resource

Illinois Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Project

Jan 9, 2016

Learn how the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project seeks to enhance the awareness of the mental health needs of young children and their families.

The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project seeks to enhance the awareness of the mental health needs of young children and their families, enable stable and continued enrollment of children with social/emotional challenges in child care settings from birth to 7 years old, and strengthen the capacity of individual agencies to address the needs of young children. Since 2008, the project has funded mental health consultants (MHCs) who provide training, infant and early childhood mental health consultation, and referrals to enhance the capacity of mental health providers, child care providers and home visitors. Initially, the MHCs were employed by just a select number of local mental health, Healthy Families Illinois or social service agencies at various project sites across the state that were identified as ready to support this service. Now, consultation is available throughout the state.

Since 2012, the federally funded Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting project has included mental health consultation in six sites across the state. In 2013, the Illinois Childrens Mental Health Partnership released a report, Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation to Home Visiting Programs Model, which provides a review of the stages of program development, role descriptions and lessons learned.

To read the report visit: http://icmhp.org/icmhppublications/files/ICMHP-HFI-ReportFinal-08-24-13.pdf.

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