Children’s Mental Health Project provides children’s mental health trainings for childcare and early childhood professionals that support the social and emotional needs of young children. CICRCL’s Children’s Mental Health Project’s trainings specifically emphasizes the importance of the mental health of adult caregivers and helps them interact more effectively with young children.
CICRCL’s Children’s Mental Health Project is directed by Janae B. Weinhold, Ph.D. She developed this professional focus as a result of her research, training and clinical experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her passion for this work is anchored in her own childhood experiences, in parenting her two children and grandparenting her three grandchildren.
Mission of the Children’s Mental Health Project
The mission of Children’s Mental Health Project is to bring information and skills from a rapidly-growing knowledge base about children’s social and emotional needs to childcare providers, educators, physicians and mental health professionals. While this knowledge base has grown tremendously in the last ten to fifteen years, this information is just beginning to penetrate mainstream awareness.
The Children’s Mental Health Project’s programs emphasize children’s need for constant and consistent unconditional love, empathy, compassion and emotional synchrony during the critical first three years of life. They show how early bonding breaks between children and their primary caregivers causes Developmental Trauma contribute to the dramatic increase in the number of young children are being identified as violent, defiant, hyperactive and other behavioral problems.
Unfortunately, the social and emotional needs of young children are slowly being buried under the burden of their parents’ economic challenges, work commitments and lifestyle demands. It is not uncommon for infants and toddlers to spend 10 – 12 hours a day in non-family care. Parents, grandparents, childcare providers, teachers and corporate policymakers just do not understand the profound impact of early separation trauma during the first three years of life and its correlation with aggressive, violent and anti-social behaviors in preschool and school age children.
History of the Children’s Mental Health Project
Colorado History. Janae began her work as a Children’s Mental Health Consultant with the El Paso County Colorado Childcare Resource & Referral Agency from 2000 to 2003. She began by offering a three-day training for the Agency’s providers on Meeting the Social and Emotional Needs of Infants and Toddlers. During a three-year period, Janae presented numerous CICRCL trainings on Promoting Positive Mental Health in Childrento childcare providers and early childhood educators in the Southeastern region of Colorado. She also provided consultation and training services through CICRCL for numerous childcare agencies in El Paso County, and spent two years serving as a member of Colorado Resource & Referral taskforce working to implement programs and policies to support the mental health of Colorado children.
In January of 2000 Janae served as the Mental Health Coordinator for a Colorado Springs Child Care Response Team Project. This one-year project was funded by a grant from the Colorado Youth Crime Prevention and Intervention (CYCPI). The goal of this Child Find Project was to identify and assess children who have been expelled or at risk of being expelled from child care settings in El Paso County. The initial response to the Project was so immense that it created a backlog of requests for help, indicating the high level of need for these services in the childcare community.
Janae’s responsibilities involved observing at-risk children in their childcare setting and meeting with their teachers. She also visited the homes of the most at-risk children, interviewing their parents to gather both information and to provide them with support. Based on these assessment activities, Janae collaborated with childcare teachers, parents and mental health professionals to create appropriate interventions to meet the needs of the at-risk children and their families. The Project also linked high-risk children with specialized needs to appropriate community services.
North Carolina History. After moving to Asheville, NC in 2003, Janae offered Promoting Positive Mental Health in Children Trainings for childcare professionals through the Buncombe County Child Care Services. She also presented on this topic for mental health professionals at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) and on numerous children’s mental health topics at the Western Regional Early Childhood Conference.
In 2008, 2009 and 2012, Janae represented CICRCL’s Children’s Mental Health Project as a speaker on Promoting Positive Mental Health in Children at International Smart Start Conferences in Greensboro, NC. Here she provided professional training and practical tools for families, teachers, doctors, caregivers, social workers, and school personnel to support young children’s optimal growth and development.
Current Children’s Mental Health Projects
Janae is currently working on several proposals for Children’s Mental Health Projects for 2013. Look here for news and updates.