The primary role of the Head Start mental health services is to provide activities that encourage the social and emotional development of children enrolled in the program. The Head Start agency has a mental health consultant to assist with family support issues, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, or stress-related issues. The staff receives training in working with children and families dealing with child behavior and family functioning.
Promotion of mental wellness and encouraging positive social relations in children is our primary goal. Through social/emotional screenings, curriculum activities and general classroom observations, which are performed periodically throughout the year, we ensure that our classroom environments are supportive, responsive, and positive in meeting children’s needs. At times a teacher may feel a child is experiencing difficulties or showing concerning behaviors in the classrooms and would benefit from mental health services. Parents will be contacted to discuss the situation and if necessary, an Individual Behavior Guidance Plan may be developed to support the child’s needs. Many preschool age children experience periods of non-compliance and stress. Head Start teaches children and families how to handle stress in a more positive way.