SPARK is now offering Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) services to child care providers in Boone, Hendricks, Marion, Montgomery, and Bartholomew Counties. This prevention-based service pairs a mental health consultant with families and adults who work with infants and young children in the places they learn and grow. Services include:
Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is a specialized service that provides support and guidance to caregivers, professionals who work with young children (birth to age five), and their families by a doctoral mental health professional. The goal of IECMHC is to promote healthy social-emotional development and prevent or address mental health concerns in young children. The consultant provides support and guidance on promoting the child’s social-emotional development, addressing any concerns or challenges, and promoting positive parent-child relationships.
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Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is a prevention-based approach that pairs a mental health consultant with adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as child care, preschool, home visiting, early intervention and their home.
Mental health consultation is not about “fixing kids.” Nor is it therapy. Mental health consultation equips caregivers to facilitate children’s healthy social and emotional development.
ECMHC has been shown to:
- Improve children’s social skills and emotional functioning
- Promote healthy relationships
- Reduce challenging behaviors
- Reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions
- Improve classroom quality
- Reduce provider stress, burnout, and turnover
Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants (IECMHCs) develop relationships with the adults and caregivers in young children’s lives to build adults’ capacity and skills to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of children.
- Work to support strong relationships and supportive environments for children
- Focus on building the capacity of the adults in children’s lives to understand young children’s social-emotional development
- Are highly trained licensed or license-eligible professionals with specialized knowledge in childhood development, the effects of stress and trauma on families, the importance of attachment for young children, and the impacts of adult mental health on developing children
- Use a strengths-based approach and consider all levels of influence to support young children and their caregivers