WHAT is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC)?
Consultation is a collaborative, relationship-based intervention to support and build the capacity of the adults, such as educators, social workers, coaches and technical assistants. IECMHC is not about “fixing kids,” nor is it therapy. IECMHC prepares adults to help healthy social and emotional development in infants and young children. Consultation services aim to promote awareness of social and emotional development, prevent mental health crises, and treat challenging behaviors.
An IECMH consultant is a mental health professional with specialized knowledge of social, emotional and relational development who:
Uses their training and knowledge to highlight the psychological experiences of young children, often translating the unique ways children communicate their needs.
Forms supportive relationships with adults working with young children.
WHO do IECMH-Consultants serve?
This strength-based approach pairs a mental health consultant with adults who work with infant and young children (birth to age 5) in the settings where they learn and grow, such as a childcare center, preschool, early intervention program or home. The consultant brings together a team with a common goal and helps them problem solve about concerns related to a specific child, classroom or childcare program.
WHY is it important to address social, emotional, and relational health in infants and young children?
All children deserve the same attention to their social-emotional development as is given to their physical development.
Early experiences and early relationships promote learning and emotional regulation and expression, ultimately laying the foundation for long-term well-being and school success.
Sometimes typical social-emotional development can be interrupted, creating social, emotional or behavioral difficulties, which are critical to address early.
Often, early childcare providers have firsthand experience of the impact young children’s serious emotional but feel uncertain about how to handle it.
HOW do you refer or get more information?
Through the support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation and the Preschool Development Grant from SC Department of Social Services, SCIMHA will provide consultation services FREE of charge.
Any parent or childcare agency can call (833) 472-4642 or start a referral online.
Click Here to begin the intake process.
For individual child cases, parents must consent to services prior to consultant’s involvement.
Tele-Mental Health Consultation Services
Tele-MHC allows any individuals caring for young children to connect with one of the PEAR Network's mental health consultants for a brief consultation.
*Please note that we are not equipped to offer emergency mental health services. If this is a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If this is a mental health emergency, please call the Department of Mental Health’s statewide crisis response center at (833) 364-2274.