Mental health plan developed for Hawaii keiki by government agencies, nonprofits

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A group of government agencies and nonprofits announced the creation of the Integrated Infant and Early Childhood Behavioral Health (IECBH) Plan on Thursday, May 13.

The IECBH Plan is designed to create equitable systems of behavioral health care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and Hawaii families.

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The deputy director of Health Resources at the Hawaii Department of Health says the IECBH Plan will streamline a once-fractured system.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that families have easy access to services and programs that nurture the mental and social well-being of our keiki. Building healthy and resilient communities starts with caring for our youngest children. The Integrated Infant and Early Childhood Behavioral Health Plan will take a once fractured system and create a streamlined and efficient process to deploying critical support to local families.”

Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Deputy Director of Health Resources, Hawaii State Department of Health

The IECBH Plan contains four components that feature short-, intermediate- and long-term strategies and objectives.

  • Systems & Policy – Establish state policies and services with sustainable funding streams that support IECBH providers across Hawai‘i.
  • Marketing, Outreach & Community Education – Create mechanisms to improve understanding among families, communities, and policymakers about the link between infant and early childhood behavioral health and long-term health and positive outcomes.
  • Workforce Development – Increase the quality and capacity of the early childhood and behavioral health workforce to address social, emotional and behavioral needs of young children and their families.
  • Programs & Services – Create pathways for families to access a full range of IECBH programs and services providing promotion, prevention and treatment.

Organizations that partnered to develop the plan include the Association for Infant Mental Health Hawaii, Early Childhood Action Strategy Network, the Executive Office on Early Learning/Head Start State Collaboration Office, Hawaii Community Foundation, and Hawaii State Department of Health’s Children with Special Health Needs Branch.

Click here to read more about the ICEBH Plan.

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