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B18B874ACE65383387258464005B3F05 Hearing Summary


Date Aug 28, 2019      
Location SCR 357

Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) State Efforts - Committee Discussion Only

10:36:41 AM  
Senator Story called the meeting back to
order.  Mary Alice Cohen, Director, Community and Family Support,
CDHS, Connie Fixsen, Early Childhood Mental Health Program Coordinator,
CDHS, Lisa Schlueter, Early Childhood Mental Health Lead Specialist, CDHS,
Elly Miles, Office of Early Childhood, CDHS, and Lisa Jansen Thompsen,
Early Childhood Partnership of Adams County, came to the table to begin
their presentation, which can be found as Attachment C.  The panel
discussed Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, a service partnering
early childhood and mental health consultants to improve the overall development
and mental health of children in schools.  Ms. Cohen spoke about early
childhood mental health delivery, and stated that there are three levels
of partnership, child, classroom, and program, and that working with a
mental health consultant leads to strong outcomes for the providers, parents,
and children and helps every child start school being ready to learn.
10:48:03 AM  
Ms. Cohen discussed the Incredible Years
program, which is a suite of prevention programs to increase a child's
success at school and home by improving positive relationships between
child and teacher and child and parent.  The Incredible Years is comprised
of the following components: Teacher Classroom Management program, Dinosaur
School Social Skills Curriculum, and the pre-school BASIC Parent program.
 Ms. Cohen spoke about suspensions and expulsions in early care learning
settings, explaining that research shows children ages zero to five are
being expelled at three times the rate of those in the K-12 system.  Ms.
Miles shared information about the methodology and findings of the study
conducted by the Office of Early Childhood on early child care suspensions
and expulsion rates.  She explained the main reasons for explusions
and suspensions are hurting other students or staff and destroying property
such as furniture or equipment.  She stated that early child care
centers that used a mental health consultant in the past year had a lower
rate of suspensions and expulsions.  She concluded by speaking about
the study's key findings, which include: providers desire more in-class
support and coaching around challenging behaviors; 65 percent of providers
are aware of the mental health consultation program; and 86 percent found
it easy to access, but only 1 in 4 providers have used the program due
to a lack of consultants.
11:12:05 AM  
Ms. Schlueter answered questions about
the Preschool Development Grant (PDG).  Ms. Cohen answered questions
about funding for early childhood mental health consultants.  Ms.
Schlueter spoke more about the PDG and the prospect of piloting a home
visiting expansion to Friends, Family, and Neighbor Care networks.
11:21:25 AM  
The panel members discussed action steps
to focus on, including increasing awareness and knowledge of positive and
preventative early childhood mental health practices, increasing the ECMH
workforce, and directing in-class supports and resources to settings and
populations at highest risk for suspension and expulsions.  Ms. Jansen
Thompsen began her presentation on Project LAUNCH, which can be found as
Attachment D.  She explained that Project LAUNCH is a five year federal
grant with six required strategies: screening and assessment, integrated
behavioral health, early child mental health consultation, enhanced home
visiting, strengthening families, and system improvements.  She explained
that all screening and assessments are being conducted through local entities
that have already exist in communities and are being supported by the project.
 She talked about integrated behavioral health care to support three
health clinics through professional development opportunities to increase
use of best practices in serving young children and families.  The
panel answered questions about family stressors that can lead to mental
and behavioral health issues for children and families.  

11:38:38 AM  
Ms. Jansen Thompsen answered questions
regarding the relationship between Project LAUNCH and Launch Together.
 She said that the next steps for Project LAUNCH are to focus on Family
Resource Center hubs.
11:43:27 AM  
The next panel on ECMH came to the table:
Sarah Davidon, Research Director and Director of Child and Adolescent Strategy
for Mental Health Colorado, Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood
and Policy Initiatives, Colorado Children's Campaign, and Ellen Stern,
Senior Policy Coordinator for Children's Hospital Colorado, introduced
themselves to the committee.  Dr. Davidon discussed the history of
ECMH consultation, and talked about how home visiting programs and ECMH
consultation lower suspensions and expulsions.  She distributed a
handout to the committee (Attachment E) and talked about the need to utilize
ECMH consultation as one part of a variety of tools and strategies.  Dr.
Davidon outlined what have been determined to be the essential elements
necessary for a stable and sustainable ECMH consultation system.  She
said the three most important elements for a consultation system to focus
on and support in order to be sustainable are: program infrastructure (ie.
dedicated and sustained funding), quality consultants, and quality services.
11:57:02 AM  
Ms. Stern spoke about the Children's Hospital's
involvement in ECMH consultation.  Mr. Jaeger spoke about what the
Colorado Children's Campaign has learned from conversations with their
early child care network about the biggest challenges they are facing,
the top two of which are the challenges facing the early child care and
education workforce and access to mental health services for providers.
 The commission broke for lunch.

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