Project LAUNCH

launchIn February 2013, Gallatin Mental Health Center was invited to participate with other community partners on a grant opportunity to focus on improving social and emotional wellness for children aged 0-8 and their families. Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) aims to improve health through five different strategies: 1. Expanded screening using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ); 2. Integration of behavioral health into primary care settings; 3. Mental health consultation in early care and education; 4. Enhanced Parents as Teachers home visiting with increased focus on social and emotional well-being; and 5. Family strengthening and parent skills training using the Incredible Years Program. At GMHC, we will be working to expand access to unique mental health services in two new settings associated with strategies two and three. First, a behavioral health clinician will be placed at a pediatric primary care practice to assist doctors and nurses in promoting wellness in young children. Second, our Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant will support early care and education program staff to ensure that their students receive the best foundation in social and emotional development. Through these new opportunities to provide integrated behavioral health in a medical setting and early childhood mental health consultation, children and families will have access to earlier and innovative supports for their health and wellness. Other community partners involved in the project will be addressing the other three strategies. These include local-level partners at Thrive, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Greater Gallatin United Way, Child Care Connections; and state-level partners in the Children’s Mental Health Bureau and Early Childhood Services Bureau.