Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

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Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

GCESC Mental Health Services includes a team of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health professionals providing multi-tiered prevention, intervention and treatment services, professional development and technical assistance to the Miami Valley region. These services support the social-emotional, behavioral and mental health of children ages 0-8 (PreK-2nd grade) using a team based approach to address the barriers to school success early and often.

What is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation?

The Ohio Model of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMH-C) teams mental health professionals with those who work with young children and their families to improve their social-emotional and behavioral health and development. IECMH-C builds the capacity of providers and families to understand the powerful influence of their relationships and interactions on young children’s development. Children’s well-being is improved and mental problems are prevented or reduced.

IECMH-C includes skilled observations, adaptive strategies, and early identification of mental health challenges. The Ohio Model of IECMH also includes strengthening of the teacher-family relationship and connecting young children, teachers, and families to additional mental or behavioral health services. The amount of time a consultant spends with a program/teacher varies based on need.  Research shows IECMH-C is effective in increasing children’s social skills, reducing children’s challenging behavior, preventing preschool suspensions and expulsions, improving child-adult relationships, and identifying child concerns early, so that children get the support they need as soon as possible. In addition, IECMH-C reduces teacher stress, burnout, and turnover.

Healthy social and emotional development plays a key role in a child’s ability to enter kindergarten ready to learn. In order to succeed, a child needs to function within group settings, interact positively with peers and adults, control impulses, exhibit self-confidence and be willing to take risks in learning new and often challenging tasks. IECMH-C helps early care and learning providers and families meet the social, emotional and developmental needs of young children by building protective factors with a culturally sensitive, strength-based approach.

Grace Schoessow | MS, OIMHP-III, ECMH-C

Grace
Grace Schoessow, MS, OIMHP-III, ECMH-C, oversees the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at the Greene County Educational Service Center started in 2015. She provides IECMH training and program level consultation in the Miami Valley region, and coordinates the efforts of IECMH Team. Grace has 20+ of years of experience working with families of young children with complex needs and their multidisciplinary teams in home, school and community settings. She is an Infant Early Childhood Mental Health subject matter expert and holds the Ohio Credential for Infant Mental Health Professional Level 3 and Ohio Early Childhood Mental Health Professional Credentials; is a Certified Trauma Practitioner; Triple P Provider; and Positive Behavior Interventions & Support (PBIS), SEL, and IECMH Ohio Approved Trainer. Grace collaborates with local, state, and national partners to expand IECMH services to ensure safe and supportive learning environments where all children can thrive. She works to strengthen cross systems efforts to put policies, programs and practices in place to promote childhood mental health by ensuring schools are safe, teachers are well, families are connected and children/students are healthy and engaged. She works in conjunction with the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Whole Child Matters Initiative to expand the reach of Infant Early Childhood Mental Health in Ohio; and in partnership with Ohio leadership to innovate and share what works at the local level. The IECMH Team’s extensive cross systems expertise working with children and families facing emotional, developmental, mental, and behavioral health challenges in clinical, community, and classroom settings, informs the consultation, professional development and technical assistance offered to community partners, parents and service providers to improve their competencies and capacity to meet childhood mental health challenges together.

Elizabeth Smith | MA, OIFP-II, ECMH-C

Beth Smith
Elizabeth Smith, MA, OIFP-II, ECMH-C, [email protected],  Beth Smith is an IECMH Consultant with the Early Childhood Mental Health Professional Credential through the state of Ohio. She has over 20 years of experience working in the early childhood field; and a background in social work and conflict resolution. She has served as a Family Advocate for Head Start families, as well as an ECMH consultant with Head Start and various local early learning providers.  Before joining the team here at the ESC, she worked at Head Start as a Child Advocate and Social Emotional Development coach in local and multi-county early learning environments.effort to improve social and emotional readiness for learning by addressing the mental health and wellbeing of children and their caregivers in the early years. As part of the IECMH Team, she provides onsite or virtual Early Childhood Mental Health consultation services for Early Learning environments and the families they serve, along with Professional Development training for staff. As a fellow early childcare professional, she shares a commitment to providing children with a safe and healthy start to life and know by working together we can face the challenges. She is dedicated to providing support and encouragement to staff and the families they serve as they strengthen their understanding of the importance of family involvement as their child’s first teacher, and in their child’s early development and education. Healthy social and emotional development plays a key role in a child’s ability to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Each child needs to function within group settings, interact positively with peers and adults, control impulses, exhibit self-confidence and be willing to take risks in learning new and often challenging tasks. As an IECMH Consultant, Beth shares her knowledge and expertise to help children succeed.

Carrie Taylor | BSW, M.Ed., OIMHP-III, ECMH-C

Carrie Taylor
Carrie Taylor, BSW, M.Ed., OIMHP-III, ECMH-C,  [email protected],  Carrie Taylor holds the Early Childhood Mental and Infant Mental Health credentials for the state of Ohio as well as an Ohio Teaching and Intervention Specialist license. She has been working with children and families for the last fifteen years in a variety of settings. Carrie has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work as well as a master’s degree in Education. Carrie is a consultant on the early childhood mental health team working with public schools and private childcare centers in the area providing virtual and onsite services.  Carrie is trained in a variety of Evidence Based Programs, including as a PAX partner for elementary schools/districts. Previously, she worked as an applied behavior analysis therapist doing at home therapy with children with autism. Carrie’s extensive experience also includes work as a child advocate, preschool teacher and pediatric/medical social worker. Carrie is passionate about working with children, families and teachers to promote social and emotional development of young children.  

Audrey Shirk | MSW, LSW, OIFP-II

Audrey Shirk
Audrey Shirk, MSW, LSW, OIFP-II [email protected], is a licensed social worker in Ohio with a Master of Social Work and the Ohio Infant Mental Health Credential OIFP-II (Ohio Infant Family Practitioner Level II). She provides IECMH Consultation and School-Based Early Childhood Mental Health therapy to local school districts and regional partners. Audrey has a passion for program level consultation and policy, plus a love of play based treatment services. Her professional experience in Early Childhood settings, the YMCA Child Care Centers and Head Start, informs her work as a valuable member of the IECMH Team.

Lindsay Green | M.Ed., OIFP-II

Lindsay Green | M.Ed., OIFP-II
Lindsay Green, M.Ed., OIFP-II, [email protected], is a licensed Early Childhood Educator and Intervention Specialist. Lindsay obtained her Ohio Infant Mental Health Credential OIFP-II (Ohio Infant Family Practitioner Level II) and is an Ohio Approved Professional Registry Trainer. She has sixteen years of experience working with children and families, as a Kindergarten teacher, an Intervention Specialist (2nd grade) and home care provider. Lindsay is a life-long learner who embraces the joy of education and the need for wellness. As an IECMH Trainer and consultant, she is dedicated to helping others see relationship-building as the foundation of education; and to support children, caregivers, and educators in having access to the best possible services to support student success.

John Kinsel | MS, LPCC-S, OIMHP-III

John
John Kinsel, MS, LPCC-S, OIMHP-III [email protected], joined the Early Childhood Mental Health Team in 2020. John has provided Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health services to very young children and their caregivers as a clinician, consultant, trainer and advocate for 40 years.  He is President of the Association for Infant Mental Health in Ohio (AIMHiOHIO).  John’s role on the IECMH Team at the Greene ESC is to support reflective supervision and relationship based best practice.

Jeanne Simonton | RN, MS, LPCC, ECMH-C, OIMHP-III

Jeanne
Jeanne Simonton, RN, MS, LPCC, ECMH-C, OIMHP-III, [email protected], is an IECMH consultant with both the Ohio Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH-C) and the Ohio Infant Mental Health Professional (OIMHP-III) credentials. She is a registered nurse and licensed clinical counselor with over 40 years experience working with young children. She has worked in newborn intensive, pediatric homecare nursing, Help Me Grow service coordination, early childhood clinical practice, and over ten years of early childhood mental health consultation. Jeanne believes in a strengths-based approach when working with young children and their families and the systems that support them.
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