Mental Health Services
Head Start is concerned with the complete development of each individual including mental health. A large part of a child's life is involved in play, which is where mental health is readily assessed.
The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) is completed twice each year by teachers and parents to assess children's social and emotional development. The results of these assessments are used to guide the teaching staff in planning activities and adjusting the schedule or environment to enhance social and emotional development of each child.
Mental health services are provided by the education/disabilities managers or by referral to an outside provider. These services are provided promptly and support parent and staff efforts to meet the needs in this area. The health services manager may be the first portal of entry into the mental health system.
Mental health activities and awareness are an important part of the classroom curriculum as they benefit the children, staff and any visiting parents or volunteers. An appropriate and healthy classroom environment is vital to supporting the mental health of those who function in the environment.