Social-Emotional Development

  • Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists Program

    The Colorado Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists (ECMH Specialists) program seeks to create nurturing environments and relationships that encourage mental health and well-being among children, families and staff.

    ECMH Specialists is a free and voluntary program for parents, guardians and child care providers. The program involves building the knowledge and skills of the early care and learning providers, supporting best practices for social and emotional development, and the importance of timely childhood mental health support, especially for those children at higher risk because of behavioral difficulties and disabilities. This program focuses on prevention and early identification of concerns or problems that could lead to greater challenges, and can provide support when a child is at risk of expulsion or disenrollment from a child care program.

    The ECMH Specialists program may provide services:

    1. While working within a specific early care and learning setting. They have a regular, planned schedule when they are on site at the program and can be available for program and child specific consultation.
    2. As a result of a request for consultation by either a parent or program, which can focus on the setting, the classroom, or a child's needs.

    In addition to early childhood mental health consultation, an ECMH Specialist provides services in their community that may include: provider, staff and parent education; consultation to other early childhood systems; and community training on social and emotional development. The ECMH Specialist can also assist in making referrals for additional resources and/or when counseling or therapy is needed.

    If you are interested in the ECMH Specialists program or have a question, please contact:

    Connie Fixsen

    ECMH Program Manager

    Phone: 303-866-4393

    Email: connie.fixsen@state.co.us

  • Resources

    Zero to Three: general early childhood information

    Georgetown University: information on mental health consultation

    Head Start: interactive tool about mental health consultation in child care and home visiting

    Early Intervention Colorado

    Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline