Mental Health

Head Start Heals Campaign

Two pairs of hands holding a heart.

Early childhood education programs play a vital role in supporting the social and emotional and mental health of children and families. This support is particularly important when children and families are exposed to traumatic events or situations that overwhelm their ability to cope. 

Crisis and Support Hotlines can offer immediate help. They provide free counseling, resources, and support from qualified providers. Many of them are available 24 hours a day and offer support for adults and caregivers around difficult topics such as child abuse, natural disasters, parent support, domestic violence, and suicide. 

Protective factors can help develop children’s ability to cope so that they can become resilient, heal, and recover. Head Start programs are uniquely positioned to provide protective factors, such as strong, trusting relationships and safe, stable environments that promote healing for children, families, and staff.

Head Start Heals supports increased awareness about how programs can help. Explore resources or watch videos here. Topics include: 

  • Trauma basics, and what it means to have a trauma-informed care approach.
  • How trauma intersects with topics including mental health, substance use, domestic violence, and child welfare.
  • How to approach trauma and toxic stress through a culturally appropriate lens.
  • How programs can have difficult conversations with families.

Watch video series and explore resources below.