Early Childhood Mental Health Services & Infant Mental Health

  • Early childhood mental health is key to a child’s healthy development! How well a child develops in their formative years leads to healthy relations in childhood and adulthood, ability to get along with others in child care, school and society, and develops resiliency for challenges later in life. This resiliency, the ability to “bounce back” from adversity, reduces the infant, toddler, young child’s risk for developing a variety of emotional, behavioral, social and cognitive delays. Early childhood mental health services focuses on building and maintaining the important relationships between infants, toddlers and young children and their parents/caregivers to ensure the needed foundation for growth and development throughout childhood.

Early Childhood Mental Health and Infant Mental Health
Infant Mental Health Practice Model

The Infant Mental Health (IMH) practice model is a needs-driven, relationship-focused multi-faceted intervention serving parents and their infants/toddlers in the mental health system. The infants/toddlers and parent(s) receiving IMH have been exposed to a range of factors that place the infant/toddler at risk for developing a variety of emotional, behavioral, social, and cognitive delays. In 2014 Michigan provided home-based IMH-HV services to more than 1700 of the state’s most vulnerable families, delivering services designed to ameliorate serious mental health issues during the critical periods of infancy and toddlerhood in order to prevent costly consequences for both the individual and society through increased costs in health care, education, and the justice system.

Infant Mental Health model is provided by Masters-prepared early childhood mental health professional who must minimally have Endorsement at Level 2 by the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health; Level 3 is preferred.

Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs) or their provider networks provide this model as part of the Department’s certified home-based program or as an Additional Mental Health Service (B3)-Prevention Direct Service Model.

Social-Emotional Development in Young Children

In Michigan, we believe that social and emotional health matters!

The Michigan 0-8 Social and Emotional Toolkit provides materials for communities throughout the state to use in promoting the positive social and emotional health of all their children. In this toolkit, you will find the following resources to help you get started:

  • Social and Emotional Health:  A Guide for Families with Children, Birth – 8 Years, Revised, 2013. 
  • Social and Emotional Fact Sheet, 2013
  • Social and Emotional Scripted Power Point, 2013

To access the toolkit, go to:  http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71550_2941_4868_7145_64838---,00.html

Evaluation of Infant Mental Health in Michigan

The purpose of the Infant Mental Health-Home Visiting Evaluation is to rigorous evaluate the intervention’s impact on critical outcomes for the families served. To achieve this goal we are partnering with the University of Michigan, Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and 7 CMHSPs to evaluate the IMH-HV program utilizing rigorous outcomes monitoring and evaluation methodology to establish that the families served achieve the intended positive benefit.

It is anticipated that the evaluation will lead to Infant Mental Health being considered an evidence based practice and to meet the requirements of PA291 of 2014.

Early On

The vision of Early On Michigan is to improve the quality of life for children with special needs, age birth to three, and their families. Early On is offered by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) as the state lead agency. MDE collaborates with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in implementing the Early On® system.

For Early On services for an infant or toddler, please call 1-800-EarlyOn or go to http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-6530_6809-127141--,00.html

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)

Mental Health Consultation is a prevention based, indirect service aimed at increasing capacity for early childhood providers to recognize and meet the social and emotional needs of their children 0-5 years old.

Growing research has shown the direct correlation between social and emotional health, school readiness and academic success. Additionally, research of the brain and child development inarguably describes the unparalleled rapid development of the brain and attachment relationship systems from birth to 5 years old.  At the same time, data depicts a horrifyingly high expulsion rate for children in early care and education settings. Expulsion at this crucial time of development creates incredibly high risk factors for future overall development and successes in education and community life.

Offering much needed systematic support to the caregivers of those children early in life is a critical part of Mental Health Consultation services. This program not only promotes social and emotional development, but can prevent challenging behaviors that ultimately lead to expelling our youngest children. Best practices from highly trained specialized Mental Health consultants are offered to home based caregivers. These consultants garner and model the trusting relationships that are central to increasing overall quality of care, and are responsible for transforming early care environments around the state. Through these partnerships, consultants increase the reflective capacity of caregivers and strengthen their ability to translate children’s behaviors into needs. Proven tools and strategies are then implemented to meet these needs effectively. This process ultimately increases the confidence, capacity and skillset of both caregiver and child.

The primary focus on quality relationships supports the caregivers’ ability to understand the correlation between social emotional well-being, behavior and developmental trajectory, as well as identify and build protective factors. Creating a system wide foundation that intentionally nurtures social and emotional health will naturally create communities that will foster resiliency skills needed for all children to succeed in every stage of life.

Information on IECMHC

Information on Mental Health Consultation in Early Care and Education, Race to the Top.

Waiver of Provider Qualification

All Community Mental Health Services Program (CMHSP) staff, or contract provider staff, delivering Home-based Services for infants and young children, birth to 47 months and staff providing Prevention-Direct Services Models (Infant Mental Health, Child Care Expulsion Prevention) must have, as a minimum, the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) Endorsement®, Level II (Infant Family Specialist), with Level III (Infant Mental Health Specialist) preferred.

It is understood that staff assigned to Home-based Services or the Prevention-Direct Services Models listed or new staff may not meet the MI-AIMH Endorsement® requirements. In order to facilitate completion of the MI-AIMH endorsement, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will consider requests from a CMHSP for waiver of provider qualifications for staff providing Home-based Services (pregnancy through 3) and Prevention-Direct Services Models (Infant Mental Health Services or Child Care Expulsion Prevention).

The FY20 Waiver form is to be completed and submitted, per the instructions, to MDHHS.