Module 4: Promoting Mental Health in Early Childhood

Community Practices to Promote Mental Health

  • Support quality services for children and encourage parents to advocate for services, including:
    • Child care
    • Early Head Start and Head Start
    • Mental health services
    • Preschool
    • Small kindergarten class sizes
    • After-school care
    • Other educational opportunities
  • Empower parents to advocate for their children’s special needs. Recognize parents’ efforts through newsletters, bulletin boards, ceremonies to honor them, and certificates.
  • Encourage connections among parents whose children have similar needs through the Internet and the community (schools, community centers, faith-based organizations). Ask parents to share resources with you so that you can pass them along to other families.
  • Consider serving as a consultant or board member of agencies that serve children in early childhood and their families.
  • Encourage local hospitals to establish prenatal sibling preparation classes.
  • Report inefficiencies and inequities in mental health services to effect change (by contacting insurance administrators if needed mental health services are not covered).
  • Support organizations that serve children (YMCA, YWCA, Early Head Start, faith-based organizations) by making referrals or contributing time, money, or expertise.
Provider Resource

Where to Seek Help: A Bright Futures Referral Tool for Providers PDF

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