National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation
   

Activity: Who Should Be On the Team?

Collaboration among partners who can provide meaningful insight and effort toward resolving a given issue is essential to effective consultation. Thus, a consultant must thoughtfully consider who should be part of each collaboration. Take a moment to read the scenario below and then reflect on whom the mental health consultant should engage in a "consultation team" to address the issues discussed.

Who should be on the team?Wanda Green and her family are new to the community and were very pleased that the local Head Start Program accepted her in August. The Family Service Worker, who speaks Mrs. Green's native language, visited Wanda's parents in their home in early September and encouraged them to attend the Family Training events scheduled for the year. Mr. and Mrs. Green participated in the first 2 sessions and then stopped coming. In January, Wanda's teacher called Mrs. Green to express her concern about Wanda's behavior, which she reported as becoming more aggressive over the past month. Wanda had been pushing and hitting other children and her speech was very difficult to understand. During the previous week, Wanda threw a toy at another child in the program and broke her glasses. The child's parents called the Director to complain about Wanda. The Director, in turn, called upon the mental health consultant to help sort out the problem. Mrs. Green, who speaks to Wanda in her native language at home, was very disturbed by the teacher's observations and says that Wanda is very happy and quiet at home. She and her husband are considering withdrawing Wanda from Head Start.

Questions to consider (click on the question for answers):

  1. Who would you include in the first team meeting?
  2. What unique perspectives might they bring to the table?
  3. What might be some challenges to address?
  4. What are possible next steps?

Resource: "Collaborative Approach to Mental Health" (Head Start Bulletin 80, pp. 9-10)

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