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Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC)

Greene County Educational Service Center (ESC) developed the ECMHC program to promote young children’s social and emotional development, to address challenging behaviors, and to assist parents/caregivers of young children in the region who have experienced high levels of trauma or toxic stress. The caregivers in early learning programs were not adequately trained on how to support the social-emotional development of children. In Greene County, 44 out of 57 child care centers were not yet participating in the Ohio’s quality rating and improvement system. Without early intervention, these children were at increased risk for developmental delays, academic failure, absence, truancy, suspension or even expulsion, further impeding their chance at success in school. The Greene County ESC ECMHC program has taken a two prong approach to spread understanding about the foundations of child social and emotional development while normalizing the need to seek help for parenting and child behavioral problems. Parents and caregivers experiencing chronic toxic stress first need help building their own resilience and protective factors in order to help the children in their care. Using this approach the Greene ESC early childhood mental health professional developed the program and provided consultation to the schools and community agencies in response to the needs of the adults and children.

“Thank you for helping us identify as early as possible those children who may need extra help before they enter kindergarten…
The increase in drugs, the rise in autism, single parent families, overworked parents trying to keep their “heads above water” financially,
grandparents and even great grandparents raising children and much more are all things we have experienced here at our preschool.
We certainly see the affects in “our children” and we need help in giving them what they need to succeed in life. 
You have been a true answer to prayers as we work to provide a safe,
caring place for families in Fairborn to send their children.”

Mary Gale, Director, Fairborn Preschool and Daycare

The ECMHC model has been integrated within the school mental health program in Greene County. Mental health program staff receive additional training on crisis intervention, trauma informed care, substance abuse prevention, and dating violence.  Partnerships were established between the Greene County ESC and community agencies to support the initiative. The program has been well received in the schools, early learning programs and the community and achieved positive outcomes (2016 data): 156 parents and professionals trained in ECMHC, 83 child consultations, 46 parent consultations, and 1,854 program-level consultations.  

Website Links:

Behavioral Health/Mental Health
Early Childhood
Family Driven
Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care
Parent Skills Training
Social and Emotional Well-Being
System Change
Trauma Informed/Response