The Mental Health Services program at Rainbows was created to enhance the social, emotional and behavioral development of young children. Currently, Rainbows’ Mental Health team is made up of 11 professionals who work throughout Sedgwick County in early education centers and family homes as they support children and the adults who care for them.
On the Mental Health team are 7 professionals who are licensed to provide therapeutic interventions to children with delays in social / emotional skills, children who have trouble with regulating to new situations, children whose behavior is disruptive to the classroom or home, and many other situations where children and their care givers struggle. A child is identified for Mental Health services because a parent or teacher has concern that the child is struggling to maintain behavior that is developmentally appropriate and so they ask for the child to be assessed.
It is common for both parent and teacher to see the same negative behavior in a child and share concerns and desire for support. However, sometimes parents see issues at home that a teacher does not see in the classroom. In that situation, there are Specialists on the Rainbows team who can provide direct support to parents to help guide them in ways to bring out the behavior they desire in their child. Sometimes, teachers see disruptive behaviors when parents never see the behavior at home. In that situation, if the parent consents to the support, we have Specialists who can go into an early childhood classroom to provide support to teachers to help guide them in ways to bring out the behavior they desire in classroom.
Each year, Rainbows’ Mental Health team provides mental health screenings to about 750 children and individual intervention to over 450 children. If you have questions about early childhood mental health or wish to have your child screened, call 316.558.3420. We can help you.
Written by Audra Kenneson, Mental Health Services Coordinator