Supporting the Mental Health of Children
Every year in May, SAMHSA celebrates National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to shine a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.
SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services supports America’s children through the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) program, a prevention-based approach that pairs a mental health consultant with adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as childcare, preschool, early intervention sites, and their homes. IECMHC improves children’s social skills and emotional functioning, promotes healthy relationships, reduces challenging behaviors, reduces the number of suspensions and expulsions, improves classroom quality, and reduces provider stress, burnout, and turnover.
For fiscal years 2019 through 2021, SAMHSA disbursed $13.9 million in IECMHC funding to 13 grantees.
Under the IECMHC grants, from fiscal year 2019 to 2021 (October 2019 – September 2021):
- 10,081 people have been trained to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of children
- 17,346 young children were screened for mental health or related interventions
- 7,399 young children were referred to mental health or related services
Did you know? Most—7 out of every 10—referrals for IECHMH mental health or social and emotional development services are completed, meaning that children received the support needed.
More on the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) program is available at:
- IECMHC Center of Excellence to learn about components of successful IECMHC programs, national programs and models and tools to strengthen your IECMHC services
- SAMHSA funding for the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program – 2022 Grant announcement
These data were collected in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and were current as of April 8, 2022 through the SAMHSA Performance Accountability and Reporting System (SPARS).