Florida One of Eight States Selected for New Infant Mental Health Community of Practice

Florida is one of eight states just selected to participate in a new virtual Community of Practice (CoP) on enhancing mental health capacity in home visiting. Organized by Zero to Three and funded by the Alliance for Early Success, the learning collaborative will offer states technical assistance and support aimed at strengthening the ability of home visiting staff to identify and address parent mental health issues such as maternal depression, substance abuse and anxiety, as well as assist families in promoting the social-emotional development of their children.

zero-to-threeTechnical assistance provided through the CoP will be used in Florida to develop plans for a partnership project between Florida MIECHV, the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health (FAIMH) and Early Steps piloting Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (I/EMHC) in three areas of the state. The I/EMHC pilot is one of three strategies currently being implemented by Florida MIECHV to address the unmet mental health needs of at-risk families served in early childhood programs. Other efforts focus on building state capacity to deliver two evidence-based treatment models — Moving Beyond Depression and the Mothers and Babies program — through home visiting.

Florida CoP team members include: Allison Parish, FL MIECHV Senior Manager and team lead; Dr. Mimi Graham, Director, FSU Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy; Lily Wells, Director, Project LAUNCH, Florida Department of Children & Families; Lisa Negrini, COO of the Family Study Center at USF, St. Petersburg and President of FAIMH; and, Kim Porter, Program Consultant for Early Steps, IDEA Part C, at the Florida Department of Health.

The CoP runs from January 2017 to August 2017 and will include a series of webinars and conference calls with participating states and content experts. Other states include: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina and New York.