We strive to provide supports and services where children and families are in their daily lives, at home and in settings like child care, schools, primary care offices, teen centers, etc. Children’s mental health improves when people surrounding the child, such as parents, teachers, and coaches, are grounded in social-emotional development. It is important to promote mental health in ordinary ways, like encouraging children to identify and express their emotions, practice effective decision-making, and identify areas where they have skills and competency. The more children are exposed to these positive messages across settings and developmental stages, the healthier they will be through their development. Any service system must meet the mental health needs at different developmental stages of early childhood, school-aged, and youth transitioning to adulthood.
All supports and services are provided within the framework and principles of a child & family system of care. These include providing services in a way that is child-centered, family-focused, culturally competent, strength-based, individualized, community-based, and collaborative between and among families, agencies and community.
Promotion, prevention, intervention, and treatment are not distinct categories; they provide different functions for the individual. For example, effective treatment for the child’s identified mental health condition also serves to prevent further difficulties for the child and their family. Taking a long view, effective treatment with children today is the prevention of mental health problems for their lifetime and the next generation.
For more information about the system of supports and services at different developmental stages of early childhood, school-aged, and youth transitioning to adulthood, please follow the links below.
The State Interagency Team developed a resource for families who are waiting in the Emergency Department with their child during a mental health crisis. This brochure contains useful information to help families navigate a potentially difficult situation. A special thanks to the many families and advocates who provided invaluable expertise and feedback in the creation of this resource. You can find the brochure here: You Are In the Emergency Department with Your Child In Crisis, Now What?