National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation
   

Training and Professional Development

Training and Professional DevelopmentIt is important to note the complexity in the qualifications of an effective mental health consultant. Effective ECMHC requires a mental health professional with a unique skill set that is rarely developed through formal schooling or other pre-service activities (Duran et al., 2009). While some mental health consultants benefit from focused training on ECMHC through programs that were specifically designed to provide ECMHC services in their states and/or communities, the majority does not have this opportunity because they are not part of this type of program or work as independent practitioners. Although there are a number of models for training and professional development of early childhood mental health consultants (Korfmacher & Hilado, 2008), this remains an important area of resource development in the field.

The currently available models include a variety of approaches. Colorado, Michigan, Connecticut and Ohio offer systematic in-service training to early childhood and mental health professionals to prepare them to be consultants. A few well-established ECMHC programs, such as Day Care Consultants in San Francisco, CA, have created intensive pre-service training modules for all beginning consultants (Dallas et al, 2008; Duran, et al., 2009). Several colleges and universities, including Portland State University and Wayne State University, have begun to develop certificate or credentialing programs in early childhood mental health that include training specific to consultation (Dallas et al, 2008). The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CECMHC) was created in part to add to these training resources and support the provision of effective ECMHC to HS/EHS programs. This tutorial series provides basic training on the critical elements of effective consultation, to assist mental health professionals in their skill enhancement efforts and provide guidance to HS/EHS administrators on what qualifications to look for when selecting a mental health professional to provide ECMHC services.

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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation