Growing Mental Health Partnership in Beaver County

Fayette County Head Start Hosts Munch, Mingle and Move 2024

Fayette County Head Start Hosts Munch, Mingle and Move 2024

Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County held their 18th annual Munch, Mingle, and Move Event on May 23, 2024, at the Private Industry Council building in Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania. The event is based on educating families on good health/nutrition habits. The...

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Head Start / Early Head Start FAQs The Private Industry Council discusses frequently asked questions for Head Start and Early Head Start students. Private Industry Council operates the Head Start / Early Head Start program for Beaver and Fayette Counties in the...

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  When we think of mental health, many people may only think of the mental health of adults; however, children are just as affected by mental health concerns and behavioral challenges.  In 2024, 11.5% of children have experienced severe major depression (USA Today, 2024), 11.3% of children ages 5-17 were diagnosed with ADHD (CDC, 2024), and 1 in 36 children in the United States has autism (Autism Speaks, 2024).

Over the last five years, early childhood has seen an increase in challenging behaviors, and children either having mental health diagnoses or their families having trouble getting a diagnosis for their child in order to get the services that are needed to help their child flourish.  Over the last year, the Head Start/Early Head Start of Beaver County’s Mental Health and Disabilities Team has increased the accessibility to mental health care for our children through partnering with the Psychology and Learning Center, located in Monaca.  The Psychology and Learning Center provides services such as evaluation, therapy, and medication management to children, adolescents, and adults.

Typically, the process to get a psychological evaluation is held in three separate sessions: the intake, the evaluation, and the review.  Due to a high need for services with our families and lack of certain resources in the county (mainly transportation), our connect at the Psychology and Learning Center, along with the doctors at the center, created a hybridized process to streamline evaluations with our families.  Instead of the three sessions, we were able to combine the first two sessions into one and have the final session either virtual or in-person depending on the person’s ability to get to the center.  Not only have they created this hybrid model for us, but there has been great flexibility in getting our children in for evaluations, waiting no more than 2 months to get evaluated.

This school year, our team has referred 12 children, 2 of which are awaiting diagnoses, 3 to be evaluated, and 7 which have already received diagnoses.  This isn’t counting the handful of children who came into our program with evaluations from the Psychology and Learning Center.  With this continued partnership, there will be more access to mental health services and a greater destigmatization of mental health diagnoses/understanding mental health in our children.

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