State Grants to Help Continue Critical Mental Health Services for At-Risk Young Children

The Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) has awarded two grants to the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board for Montgomery County to assist in continuing critical mental health services for at-risk young children.

The first is an Early Childhood Mental Health/Child Welfare (ECMH/CW) grant totaling $40,000 to be used to continue mental health consultation, assessments, and treatment of children aged birth to five who are at risk of removal from their custodial home, are victims of abuse or neglect or are entering foster care.  In addition to the services provided to young children, the funds also allow for mental health professionals to provide training to foster parents and biological parents involved with the child welfare system. The grant funding will strengthen the successful collaborative efforts of ADAMHS, Montgomery County Children Services and Samaritan Behavioral Health’s Young Children’s Assessment Treatment Services (YCATS).  ODMH awarded the grant funding after designating Montgomery County’s program as one of the top 10 in the state.

“When it is in the best interest of the child to remove them from their home, it can be incredibly traumatic for that child,” said Geraldine Pegues, Assistant Director of Montgomery County Department of Job & Family Services - Children Services Division.  “This collaborative program ensures that the child receives the critical mental health services they need and their parents and foster parents receive training to support them.”

“This collaboration makes it possible for the vital training needed to address the effects of trauma on young children, ensure the child’s social and emotional development, and approach the treatment of those social and emotional issues in a more holistic way,” added Program Director - Christina Mortsolf, MS, PCC-S of Samaritan Behavioral Health’s YCATS program. 

The second ECMH grant totals $25,000 and will be used to continue classroom mental health Consultation, Assessment, Treatment & Training (CATT) within child care centers and Head Start programs to target children aged birth to five who are at-risk of removal from their early childhood setting due to behavioral issues. ODMH awarded this grant funding after designating Montgomery County’s program as one of the top in the state.

These services/programs began with the ADAMHS Board pursuing and obtaining Ohio Department of Mental Health grants in 2000.  

ADAMHS is providing an additional $56,000 from Human Services Levy Funding to support both projects.  “This is another commendable example of how levy dollars are helping our most vulnerable citizens,” said ADAMHS Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley. 

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To learn more about these services, contact: 

Beverly K. Jones-Arthur, Director – ADAMHS Behavioral Health Operations – 937-443-0416 x111

Christina Mortsolf, Program Director– Samaritan Behavioral Health’s YCATS Program – 937-276-8333

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