Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Consultation is a free, voluntary caregiver support program for parents and caregivers caring for children ages six and under who desire extra support to foster the social-emotional development and mental health of the children in their care.
Children’s social-emotional development begins at birth with the relationships and experiences they have right from the beginning. With secure, loving relationships and positive experiences, children develop a foundation of mental health that supports them throughout their lives.
Social-emotional skills allow children to make friends, care for others, manage their emotions and resolve conflict peacefully. Actively supporting children to develop these skills not only reduces challenging behavior but also helps build stronger relationships with children and their families.
Consultants support children's mental health by building on an adults’ existing skills to help children manage emotions, form positive relationships, resolve conflicts peacefully, and take care of others. ECMH services vary based on the needs and goals of the clients. Services may be very brief, but on average take about 4-6 months to complete and each session lasts 1 to 1.5 hours. ECMH Consultation is typically delivered in early childhood settings including child care, home visiting, medical home, and other settings as appropriate both in-person or via telehealth by trained mental health professionals.
Parents and/or caregivers interested in consultation services can enroll in ECMH Consultation Program by: Working with an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant on the Colorado Shines PDIS.
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Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: Tips for Professionals
Other resources for supporting young children:
- Access ECMH outreach materials and a social media toolkit at EarlyChildhoodMentalHealthCO.org
- Search for child care at ColoradoShines.com to find quality child care in your community.
- Learn more about Early Head Start and Head Start and find a Head Start program near you
- Learn about Early Intervention Colorado (ages 0-3) and Child Find ( ages 0-5 ) and how it can help families learn ways to support and promote their child’s development.
- Find a Community Centered Board in your area. Community Center Boards supports early intervention programs for infants, toddlers and their families.
- Check out Colorado's Early Learning and Development Guidelines to learn about the path of children's learning and development from birth to eight.
- Preventing Suspensions and Expulsions (Haga clic aquí para la versión en español)
- Resources for supporting children through transitions including, transitioning into kindergarten, moving, death and grieving, and supporting children with special needs.
- Take free, eLearning courses on the Colorado Shines Professional Development Information System.
Colorado Early Childhood Mental Health Resources
- Early Childhood Mental Health Strategic Plan and alignment with other states
- The Right Mix to Support Social-Emotional Health in Early Childhood - Guidance document for community-based organizations to strengthen their selection of available social-emotional health supports.
- Parental History of Adversity and Child Well-being: Insights from Colorado
- Risk, Reach, and Resources: An Analysis of Colorado’s Early Childhood Mental Health Investments
- Early Childhood Mental Health Toolkit
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless or need someone to talk to, Colorado Crisis Services offers free, confidential and professional 24/7 support. Call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call Colorado's Child Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-844-CO-4-Kids. Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately. If you have concerns about a child care program or would like to report a licensing violation please call the child care complaint line at 1-800-799-5876.