Mental Health Center of Denver Receives Grant for "Right Start for Colorado" Program

SAMHSA grant partially funds Right Start for Colorado

The Mental Health Center of Denver was recently awarded a 5-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) grant to expand infant and early childhood mental health services throughout the state of Colorado.  “Infants and toddlers are frequently overlooked in mental health policy and healthcare delivery systems,” said Dr. Shannon Bekman, Director of Right Start for Colorado.

To remedy this, $22 million was designated to create grants that support infant and early childhood mental health services at the community level. The Mental Health Center of Denver was one of nine organizations across the nation to receive a grant of $2.5 million.  MHCD’s IECMH grant, Right Start for Colorado, seeks to build a strong and skilled infant mental health workforce that can meet the needs of young children ages 0-5 and families across Colorado. Our specific goals are to:

  • Increase the access to a full range of infant and early childhood mental health services at the community level.
  • Address Colorado’s shortage of professionals with expertise in infant and early childhood mental health by building a statewide workforce capacity for individuals serving children birth to 5 years of age.

Right Start for Colorado will provide no cost/ low cost trainings to clinicians and allied providers across the state on numerous infant mental health principles and practices, including training in evidence-based clinical treatments specific to very young children. Our first step is to conduct a statewide needs assessment to inform our workforce development training activities. We want to understand what trainings will be most helpful and where in the state trainings will be most useful. Please be on the lookout for this needs assessment coming in Summer 2019.

For more information about this statewide initiative, please see our Right Start for Colorado website. To be added to our mailing list to stay apprised of no cost/low cost training opportunities, please click this link.