Building Capacity - Raising Resiliency Funded

Our Rural Health Outreach grant proposal was funded! The Office of Rural Health Policy awarded us $375, 000 to integrate early childhood mental health consultation into public preschool classrooms and to implement a workforce development initiative. The three year project period is May 1, 2009 – April 30, 2010.

Building Capacity – Raising Resiliency will accomplish its goal of improving early childhood outcomes and increasing the capacity of our early childhood workforce to ensure healthy child development through two objectives. First, we will implement an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program (ECMH-CP), serving preschool-aged children annually in Athens County, OH. The ECMH-CP will offer three tiers of intervention - universal, targeted and intensive - provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals including the ECMH consultant, the Family Care Navigator, and a pediatric neuropsychologist.

Second, we will implement an Early Childhood Workforce Initiative designed to advance a range of professional competencies through didactic trainings, collaborative peer group supervision, learning communities, journal readings, and program consultation through site visits and videoconferencing with state and national experts. Additionally, the ECMH-CP will deliver on-site training through directed instruction, modeling and coaching to the 19 teachers, 8 aides, and other related school employees serving the 19 Athens City and Athens County public preschool and preschool special education classrooms.

This grant proposal expands the efforts of our rural health network, Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC), aimed at developing integrated health delivery systems (e.g., public pre-schools and mental health agencies) and leveraging the infrastructure established and lessons learned through our RHND grant. Our consortium is composed of a subgroup of IPAC, bringing together our community mental health center, Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Psychology & Social Work Clinic, public school teachers and administrators, and families in a jointly planned initiative to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a school-based, early childhood consultation model for integrating education and mental health services.

Because Athens County, OH is a rural eligible community, a mental health and dental professional shortage area (Dental-HPSA, MHPSA), and MUA, we are requesting a funding preference under the first category, health professional shortage areas. Additionally, both the consultation program and the workforce development trainings foster wellness and disease prevention, qualifying the program for category 2 funding preference.

Read the article in The Athens Messenger.


Jane Hamel-Lambert, PhD, MBA or

Sherry Shamblin, PCC,S at