Mental Health

Promoting Staff and Family Well-being

Early learning programs can play a key role in helping children, families, and staff commit to finding ways to reduce stress in their lives. Programs can also create wellness strategies that promote both physical and mental well-being. In the resources below, learn ways to promote a culture of wellness for young children and the adults who care for them. Explore information around parental depression, a widespread mental health concern that affects the health and well-being of parents and their children.


Wellness is much more than the absence of illness. It has many aspects including mental and physical health. Explore resources that promote healthy lifestyles to enhance both physical and mental wellness.

Staff Wellness – Managing Stress

Staff who can manage their own stress find they are better able to support families and their young children. Explore this resource to learn more about the symptoms of stress—and strategies for managing it.

Stress Reduction

Parents and staff in early care and education programs may experience a lot of stress. When that happens, young children are likely to absorb the stressed feelings of their caregivers. Learn more about resources designed to help reduce stress for adults and the children in their care.

Depression in Mothers: More Than the Blues - A Toolkit for Family Service Providers

In this toolkit, find out why it’s important to address maternal depression. Learn more about ways to recognize depression and tips for working with mothers who may be experiencing it.

Family Well-being: A Focus on Parental Depression

Find research and practices on the importance of strengths-based support, information about depression, and referrals for treatment. All of these tools can make a huge difference for parents suffering from depression, as well as their children.

Five Action Steps to Address Maternal Depression in Head Start Programs

Maternal depression can interfere with a mother’s ability to be responsive to her new baby. It also can make parenting toddlers and preschoolers more difficult. Explore these five action steps and resources to find ways to help families reduce the impact of depression in their lives.

Parental Depression

Parental depression is a widespread mental health concern. It affects the health and well-being of parents and their children. In this resource, learn more about parental depression and ways that staff can support families that are dealing with it.

Talking about Depression with Families: A Resource for Early Head Start and Head Start Staff

In this resource, find effective strategies for starting the conversation about depression with families. Learn about ways to help families get the support they need.

Understanding Depression: Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family

Share this resource with families to help them learn more about symptoms of depression. Discover strategies for self-care and supporting parent-child relationships.

Last Updated: November 11, 2019