Early Head start/Head start (EHS/HS) programs are required to provide a broad spectrum of mental health services. The services include mental health promotion, prevention, early identification of mental health concerns, and referrals for treatment of children and families. It is estimated that 9% to 14% of young children from birth to age 5 years’ experience social and emotional problems that negatively affect their functioning and development (Whitaker, Orzol, and Kahn, 2006). In addition, risk factors such as substance use, mental illness, and domestic violence can affect families’ ability to support children’s social and emotional development and may contribute to behavioral problems in young children (Brauner and Stephens, 2006). At times, referrals outside of the EHS/HS program are necessary to address the mental health needs of children and their families, when those needs exceed the scope of services offered by the EHS/HS program.
Keywords:Health and wellness
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: January 16, 2019