The Mental Health Consultation Services Grant, funded through the MA Department of Early Education and Care, is a joint effort of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and part of a broader comprehensive statewide system of mental health services for families in need across Massachusetts. It is intended to support a statewide mental health consultation services model that meets the needs of the early education and care field. The consultation services offered to the early education and care programs include mental health supports, strategies, and services that address the developmental, emotional, and behavioral challenges of infants and young children and their families to promote school success, ensure healthy social-emotional development, and reduce the suspension and expulsion rate in early education and care settings. The services can include: classroom observations, The objectives of the model are as follows:
- Promote healthy social and emotional development by building the capacity of the programs in EEC’s mixed-delivery system, educators, and families to provide high-quality, nurturing learning environments for children that are responsive to children with a range of developmental, social, and emotional needs so that children can be successful in their education;
- Prevent, identify, and reduce the impact of behavioral and emotional distress upon young children through the assessment of the classroom’s physical environment as well as through arrangement of materials and activities such as classroom observations of children. This will aid in strengthening educators’ capacities to reflect, problem solve, and be effective in their roles through the use of on-site mental health consultation and mentoring, as well as through training and coaching in order to help educators identify risks and prevent or reduce social-emotional and behavioral concerns that might arise; and
- Provide interventions that address concerning or challenging behaviors by employing strategies such as referrals, coordination with community-based services that meet the mental health, as well as the health care, social welfare, and other basic needs of children and their family members. In order to maintain programs’ abilities to successfully retain children who may have otherwise been suspended or expelled due to challenging behaviors, using strength-based approaches, resources will be maximized to ensure that certain mental health interventions are funded, when appropriate, through insurance payments.
There are six agencies throughout the state that have been awarded the grant fund to provide consultation services. They are:
Behavioral Health Network
110 Maple St.
Contact: Katherine Moss: 413-304-2942 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Health Link/Together for Kids
275 Belmont Street
Contact: Lynn Hennigan: 508-791-3261 or email@example.com.
MSPCC-Northeast Behavioral Health
Community Care Services
70 Main Street
Contact: Kelly Wicker, 508-821-7777 x705 or Email Kelly
The Home for Little Wanderers
271 Huntington Avenue
605 Neponset Street
Contact: Katherine Judge: 781-821-4422 x321 or Email Katherine
Contact: Rhonda Stollerman: 781-821-4422 x329 or Email Rhonda