Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Since 2021, Healthy Child Care Colorado has served as Colorado’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Network Hub. We work on the local, state, and national levels to strengthen awareness and support for this unique and critical role.
What is Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation?
Mental health consultation is not about “fixing kids.” Nor is it therapy. Mental health consultation equips caregivers to facilitate children’s healthy social and emotional development.
ECMHC has been shown to:
- Improve children’s social skills and emotional functioning
- Promote healthy relationships
- Reduce challenging behaviors
- Reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions
- Improve classroom quality
- Reduce provider stress, burnout, and turnover.
What do Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants do?
- Work to support strong relationships and supportive environments for children
- Focus on building the capacity of the adults in children’s lives to understand young children’s social emotional development
- Are highly trained licensed or license-eligible professionals with specialized knowledge in childhood development, the effects of stress and trauma on families, the importance of attachment for young children, and the impacts of adult mental health on developing children
- Use a strengths-based approach and consider all levels of influence to support young children and their caregivers
Colorado’s ECMHC Network Hub
The ECMHC Network Hub is being built upon a strong foundation of work done throughout our state and nationally. If you are interested in learning more, please look at these resources.
The ECMHC Network Hub is being developed in partnership with the Office of Early Childhood as well as an Advisory Team. We will co-create the ECMHC Network Hub by utilizing existing resources, collecting input from the field, and by collaborating with the Advisory Team to develop key elements.
We hosted a webinar in September 2021 to share more information about the process we are utilizing to develop the Network Hub’s guiding principles, core functions, intended outcomes, action plan, leadership structure, and more. Watch the recording to learn more.
Advisory Team Members
Dr. Sarah Davidon – Davidon Consulting & Georgetown Center of Excellence
Ty Johnson, M.Ed. – Early Learning Ventures
Sherri Valdez, MA – Early Childhood Council of the San Luis Valley
Heidi Baskfield, JD – Children’s Hospital Colorado & Partners for Children’s Mental Health
Kelly Etter, PhD – The Policy Equity Group
Jennifer Sommer-Sheppard, LCSW – Aurora Mental Health
Kyle Ohl, MA, LPC, IMH-E® Specialist – Grand Beginnings
Tanya Weinberg – Early Milestones
Joseph Ziegler – La Familia
Alison Hargarten – Office of Early Childhood
Heather Craiglow – Office of Early Childhood
Lisa Schlueter, PhD – Office of Early Childhood
Theresa Rapstine, MS RN – Healthy Child Care Colorado
Maegan Lokteff, PhD – Early Childhood Council Leadership Association
Jasmine Crane – Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence