Resources to Support Head Start and Early Head Start Mental Health Services

Resources to Support Head Start and Early Head Start Mental Health Services

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Guides: Publications or materials that present or relate to specific topical information, providing instructional information, as well as guidance for understanding, designing, implementing, and evaluating actions related to mental health of young children, their families, and staff.

  • Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Infants, Toddlers and Families – highlights strategies employed by Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs in addressing mental health issues including the meaning of ‘infant mental health’, the Head Start Program Performance Standards as they relate to mental health, the spectrum of services programs can offer, as well as the training and management needed to operate successful mental health initiatives. Available here.
  • Pathways to Prevention: A Comprehensive Guide for Supporting Infant and Toddler Mental Health — a publication to provide guidance to program leaders and staff members for planning, carrying out, and assessing their infant-toddler mental health services including a framework for infant mental health, building blocks for integrating principles of mental health into the program, and additional resources. Available here.
  • Head Start Child Outcomes Framework — a framework intended to guide Head Start programs in their ongoing assessment of the progress and accomplishments of children and in their efforts to analyze and use data on child outcomes in program self-assessment and continuous improvement. The Framework is composed of 8 general Domains, 27 Domain Elements, and 100 examples of more specific Indicators of children’s skills, abilities, knowledge, and behaviors. Available here.
  • Program Self-Assessment Booklet 19: Child Development and Health Services: Mental Health — a booklet to help program’s complete a self assessment to determine if the program meets Federal Performance Standards related to mental health services. Available here.

Training Guides: Publications or materials designed to assist a trainer in preparing for, presenting and facilitating individual or group (usually) instruction on a particular topic. The text includes content information, step-by-step instructions, and materials to support participant learning related to mental health of young children and their families as well as programmatic and service issues.

The three training guides relevant to social-emotional development and mental health listed below are 3 of 34 Training Guides for the Head Start Community, compiled and available on a CD.

  • Promoting Mental Health — encourages mental health promotion for all members of the Head Start community. Activities build skills in creating responsive, respectful relationships with coworkers, parents and children are an integral part in building programs that promote the ability of children and families to respond well to challenge and adversity.
  • Enhancing Children’s Growth and Development — helps education staff members learn to apply knowledge of how children grow and develop to planning, implementing and evaluating activities and experiences in the center, at home, and during group socialization sessions.
  • Supporting Children with Challenging Behaviors: Relationships Are Key — Provides teaching teams with a process for reflecting on their own practice, assessing difficult situations, and designing interventions through joint problem solving that support both children and adults.
    These training guides relevant to social-emotional development and mental health are 3 of 34 Training Guides for the Head Start Community, available on a CD.

Publications: Documents, articles, or other materials that provide topical information based on literature reviews, research, or practice related to mental health of young children and their families as well as programmatic, service, and policy issues.

  • Head Start Bulletins #73 and #80 — The Head Start Bulletin is a service of the Office of Head Start to enhance communication among the Office of Head Start, Head Start programs, and interested national, regional, and state organizations and agencies. Both of these thematic publications focus on mental health in Head Start and Early Head Start programs and include articles focused on programmatic, practice, and research issues. Available here.
  • Lessons from the Field: Head Start Mental Health Strategies to Meet Changing Needs — An outgrowth of the Task Force on Head Start and Mental Health, this publication calls attention to the mental health related challenges that Head Start community faces, highlights a framework for research, a summary of program and fiscal strategies, as well as lessons learned an implications for policy, practice and research. Available online here.
  • Strategies to Support the Emotional Wellness of Children, Families, and Staff: Findings from a Head Start Mental Health Task Force — A summary of creative implementation strategies utilized by New England Head Start programs to support the emotional wellness of everyone involved in the program. Available here.
  • Mental Health Consultation In Head Start: Selected National Findings — This document summarizes the results of a national survey o Head Start programs inquiring about the structure of mental health services, beliefs of staff and parents about how to deliver mental health services, the perceived effectiveness of services, differences of perception between various groups (staff, programs, parents), and the implications for implementation of mental health services in Head Start programs. Available here.

Training and Technical Assistance Providers: Agencies, organizations, or specialized centers with the expertise, capacity, and resources to provide training and technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start Programs related to mental health of young children and their families as well as programmatic and service issues.

See next page for the relevant performance standards.

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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.