For Mental Health Consultants

Mental health consultants provide a range of services and supports to Head Start staff and families.  These toolkits describe evidence-based approaches to promoting young children’s social emotional development within center-based programs and preventing the escalation of problem behaviors. 

When children present with challenging behaviors, mental health consultants can play a critical role in identifying strategies for staff and parents to use.  Both toolkits support programs implementing the Teaching Pyramid Model.

  • Facilitating Individualized Interventions to Address Challenging Behavior Toolkit: This toolkit is designed to assist the mental health consultant in guiding teachers, teams, and families in developing and implementing an individualized plan of positive behavioral supports that reduces challenging behavior and promotes communication and social skills.
  • Observation Toolkit for Mental Health Consultants: This toolkit provides mental health consultants with observation forms and processes that they can use to help teachers and program managers promote positive social emotional development and prevent challenging behavior.  A brief version of the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) and the Teaching Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS) are included.

For Head Start Administrators

  • Administrator's ToolkitDeveloping and Implementing a Programwide Vision for Effective Mental Health Consultation: A strong mental health component of a Head Start program begins with an administrator who has a comprehensive vision of what mental health is for the children and families they serve, as well as their staff. This toolkit is designed to help administrators develop their vision, conduct needs assessments and implement a strategic plan for mental health consultation. It includes practical guidance on contracting for mental health consultation and hiring a mental health consultant. Information on monitoring the quality of services delivered is provided as well as guidance on establishing a mental health services workgroup.
This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.