Importance of a Vision for Program Mental Health Services

Importance of a Vision for Program Mental Health Services

toddler on white surface

Research has suggested that Head Start/Early Head Start programs that have a “vision” that guides their mental health services and approach are likely to have more positive outcomes (Green et al., 2004). While the Head Start Performance Standards provide a foundation for the required components of mental health services, program directors are responsible for working with families, staff, and community providers to create a program-wide vision of mental health services. The vision should include implementing the Performance Standards in a way that meets the mental health and wellness needs of the unique children, families, staff, and communities in your program. When program administrators work with families, staff, and community members to develop a shared vision of mental health within the organization, they create a program environment in which there is a common understanding of the approach to mental health services that can be implemented across program components. A shared vision of mental health is a foundation for effective mental health services.

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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.