If Your Child Needed Mental Health Services, Would You Know Where to Turn?

During this Mental Health Awareness Month (with Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9), Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) offers resources to parents and caregivers seeking mental health guidance for children.

Photo courtesy of CHDI
Photo courtesy of CHDI
Families who have behavior or mental health concerns about their child often ask, “Where can I get the best help for my child?”  It can be a difficult and confusing process to find information and providers that can help families in their time of need. To help answer these concerns, Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) developed www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com, a website for parents and caregivers.

The website offers information to Connecticut parents on a range of children’s mental health issues, answers to frequently asked questions and links to national and state resources. There are also newly-added sections on child trauma, mental health in schools and infant and early child mental health, because mental health, including both social and emotional development, is a key component of a child’s healthy development and begins at birth.

May 9 marks Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and is an opportunity to connect parents who are concerned about their child’s mental health to available resources. In addition to www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com, below are two free resources available to Connecticut parents.

  • www.211ct.org - 2-1-1 (United Way of Connecticut and the State of Connecticut) 2-1-1- is Connecticut's free information and referral service for adults and children on a wide range of issues, including health, mental health, child care, elder care, food and housing assistance, and more. Simply by dialing 2-1-1, a toll-free number throughout Connecticut, callers can reach knowledgeable, multilingual staff and get information, referrals or seek help in a crisis. 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Information on mental health care resources can also be found at: http://www.ctunitedway.org/Media/Barometer/April2013.pdf
  • http://www.empsct.org/ - Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS): EMPS is a community-based program for children that provides immediate, in-person, mobile crisis assessment and early identification, brief intervention, and facilitates linkage to appropriate community-based treatment interventions rather than emergency departments, inpatient hospitalization, or arrest. The service is free and can be accessed by parents, schools, pediatricians and others by dialing 2-1-1. 

Bob Franks guest blogged about children’s mental health for this month’s CT Early Childhood Alliance blog.

Bob Franks is Vice President for Mental Health Initiatives at Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut. CHDI works to advance policy, system, program, and practice change that will result in better health, mental health and developmental outcomes for children in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide advocacy organization working to ensure that all children are healthy, safe and ready for lifelong success.  Visit us at earlychildhoodalliance.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ctearlychildhoodalliance or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cteca

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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