Programs

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services

Find free mental health support for infants and young children under your care.

About

Mental Health Consultation Services

The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants (ECMHC) are here to support you, free of charge.

Our consultants partner with providers to offer expert advice, guidance, and solutions for those caring for children with early childhood mental health concerns. The ECMHC provide free support for both center- and home-based early care and education providers working with children from birth to five years old.

Nursery children playing with teacher in the classroom
Multi-ethnic group of preschool students in classroom

Expert Help at No Cost

Our goal is to help you provide the best possible care for the children in your care. Our consultants bring an advanced level of training and expertise to:

  • Equip providers with training and resources
  • Help children receive the proper care and interventions
  • Improve relationships between programs, providers, and families
  • Lower instances of friction in the classroom
  • Decrease the need for suspensions and expulsion
  • Decrease teacher/administrator stress, burnout, and turnover

Our Approach

Illinois Action for Children is pleased to offer home- and center-based child care providers the opportunity to participate in a no cost, early childhood mental health consultation. Learn more about the 360 Bridge Model consultants use to assist providers and educators below.

Learn About Our 360 Bridge Model

Connect with an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant

Contact us to connect with a dedicated consultant and receive free mental health support tailored to your needs.

 

CALL

312.310.1783
773.230.3366

 

EMAIL

deborah.chalmers@actforchildren.org

Deborah Chalmers, Director of Early Childhood Mental Health

brumentha.bony@actforchildren.org

Brumentha Bony, Program Manager

margaret.khoshaba@actforchildren.org

Margaret Khoshaba, Program Manager

Get Started Today!

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Early Child Mental Health Services

Frequently Asked Questions

This service is provided at no cost to you through the Illinois Department of Human Services, in collaboration with Caregiver Connections and the statewide consultation program and Illinois Action for Children, which is available throughout Chicago and Cook County.

No. However, according to Illinois statues, child care providers and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants are mandated reporters and must report suspected child abuse and neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) hotline.

Yes. A parent or guardian must sign a consent form before we can observe a child individually. We also conduct general observations of children and classrooms which does not require parental consent.

The only time we share information with a school district is when a parent or guardian has signed a ‘release of information’ form from the school district and requests us to do so.

No. If an evaluation or assessment is needed, we help families locate the appropriate services.

No. We help families locate counseling, mental health services or resources when these services are required.

We provide consultation with parents/guardians and caregivers about their child, particularly when we have been asked to do an individual observation of that child. However, we do not provide parent education workshops or groups at this time.

Yes.

Yes. We work with providers to protect their confidentiality and the confidentiality of the children and families.

Have Questions? Get Answers

For questions about Mental Health Consultation Services, contact:

Deborah Chalmers

Director of Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

deborah.chalmers@actforchildren.org  

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