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Mental Health
Mental Health:
The mental health component of Head Start seeks to increase awareness of child mental wellness, to train parents and staff on how to integrate the social emotional domain within all aspects of child development, to collaborate with parents and teachers in identifying children with social emotional deficits and behavioral difficulties, and to provide mental health interventions to children and families in our Head Start program. Understanding a child’s behavior in the light of child development principles helps parents and staff to respond in a constructive manner, thus supporting the individual child’s development and strengthening the child-parent relationship. Yeled V’Yelda has Mental Health Consultants (social workers and psychologists) at each site who work with teachers, family workers, therapists, children and parents on an ongoing basis and are available to intervene for mental health emergencies. In addition, the Mental Health Consultants offer ongoing parenting workshops and educational seminars for parents and teachers about child development, parenting concerns, effective discipline techniques, and child mental health.

Objectives of Yeled V’Yalda’s Mental Health Effort:

• To help guide our children towards positive emotional and cognitive growth. This occurs through the development of age appropriate personal and interpersonal behavior.

• To provide staff and parents/guardians with contemporary insights in the child development process.

• To assist in the early identification of children with disabilities.

• To help focus and integrate home and community resources in an individualized child centered program.

• To foster a positive attitude towards mental health services, and their role in individual child development.

• To identify and promote availability of community-based mental health services to our children and families.

Emphasis on Fathers and Male Role Models

Research studies demonstrate that children who have their father involved in their life on a regular basis do better in school, have higher self esteem, and are less likely to be involved in criminal and gang related activities. ( Yeled V’Yalda Head Start stresses the importance of having fathers and male role models involved in their children’s life. Our goal is to increase father involvement in the daily lives of their children. Fathers are encouraged to participate in homevisits, scheduled conferences with teachers, and special events at school. In addition, Yeled V’Yalda offers an ongoing Father’s Group titled: The Father Chevra and given by Dr. Edward Kaminetzky, Certified School Psychologist; Director of Mental Health.