Quality Start Louisiana

Child Care Center Mental Health Consultation

What Do We Mean By Mental Health Consultation?

Mental health consultation is an innovative approach to supporting the healthy development of young children. The duties of the Mental Health Consultant are tailored to meet the needs of the child care center staff, including assisting caregivers in promoting healthy development, helping centers establish linkages with other agencies as well as referral sources for children with special needs, and providing proactive coaching on techniques designed to prevent the development of problematic behavior. An important part of mental health consultation involves education and training of child care professionals in the knowledge and application of developmentally appropriate practices in classroom settings.

Why Is Having A Mental Health Consultant Important?

A Mental Health Consultant is critical because preschool children who develop appropriate social and emotional skills are more likely to be prepared for elementary school and to succeed throughout the school years. Furthermore, child care centers that have incorporated mental health consultants into their programs have found a decrease in staff turnover rates, a decrease in reports of staff stress and feelings of burnout, and an increase in job satisfaction.

How often would a MHC visit my center?

After an initial visit to answer questions and complete introductory paperwork, the consultant will set a start date for your center.  The consultant will then spend one day at your center every other week for approximately 6 months.

How Do I Get A Mental Health Consultant For My Child Care Center?

If you are interested in learning more about the mental health consultation program, or how you can have a Mental Health Consultant work with your center, please send an e-mail by clicking here, or call Marylynn Gagnon at (504) 988-7387.

Does the MHC provide therapy to children?

While all MHC's are licensed mental health professionals, they do not provide therapy to children at centers but are available, with parent permission, to assist teachers in modifying the environment to best fit a child's needs and to help with behavior management for particular children.  Consultants can also assist parents and centers in finding appropriate and useful referrals within the community. 

What if I would like to continue consultation after the first 6-month period?

 

Your MHC will leave contact information with you and will be available (schedule permitting) for follow-up visits.  You can call your consultant directly to request one.  Centers are also eligible to receive another 6-month period of consultation one year after the consultation ends. Centers that have not yet had consultation receive priority on MHC waiting lists; however, centers that request repeat consultations are typically served in a timely manner.  If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for a REPEAT consultation pleased contact your consultant or Marylynn Gagnon at 504.988.7387 or mgagnon@tulane.edu.

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