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ERIC Number: EJ938237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0736-8038
Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health Services: Lessons Learned by Early Head Start Region VIII Programs
Petersen, Sandy; Bair, Katherine; Sullivan, Anita
Zero to Three (J), v24 n6 p47-53 Jul 2004
This article examines two programs chosen by the Early Head Start National Resource Center (EHSNRC) Pathways to Prevention (PTP) initiative to participate in a study of their mental health services. Both Wyoming's The Learning Center and Colorado's Developmental Opportunities found that working with the PTP mental health consultant catalyzed program-wide change. They learned four key lessons: 1) Tools such as the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training (NCAST) Personal Environment Assessment (PEA), which evaluates families' stresses and supports, help staff understand the child and provide a framework for discussing the topic of mental health with families. Furthermore, staff members reported that these tools helped them identify areas of concern much earlier than was previously the case. 2) The infant-parent relationship serves as a powerful and accessible point for intervention. Staff saw that this relationship could not only be a cause but also a vehicle for resolving infants' and toddlers' social-emotional difficulties. 3) New ways of thinking about mental health caused the program administrators to consider the mental health of their own staff. This in turn helped staff maintain their own emotional availability to infants, toddlers, and families. 4) Integrating mental health concepts and strategies into every aspect of an EHS program requires thoughtful planning. The staff members at both programs now consider aspects of mental health services in such areas as human resources, budgets, and self-assessments.
Zero to Three. 2000 M Street NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036-3307. Tel: 800-899-4301; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Wyoming