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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

First 5 Monterey County - Early Childhood Equity Fund


First 5 Monterey County enriches the lives of children, ages prenatal through 5, and their families by elevating early childhood as a priority, strengthening connections, and advancing quality within a whole system of care and support.

The Big Idea

Just like physical health, mental health needs to be nurtured from an early age. First 5 Monterey County’s (F5MC) Mental Health Training Series ensures that both children and families receive the support they need to grow into the best version of themselves.

For young children, mental health services play a pivotal role in shaping a child’s overall well-being and development. We need a well trained workforce to provide quality mental health services. Participants of the Mental Health Training Series learn to not only identify and prevent mental health concerns in children, but also learn tools to create nurturing relationships within a family.

When our children and families have strong mental health, we improve educational outcomes, reduce health care costs, and lower crime rates. By investing in infant family mental health, we lay the groundwork for a healthier, happier, and stronger community, which benefits us all.

Participating in the mental health training series has increased my knowledge in early childhood development, family mental health, and infant mental health. Building on my knowledge and skills has enhanced my ability to support families and children in the community, boosting my confidence and cultural awareness. Understanding diverse perspectives has become a crucial aspect and I am able to coach parents to examine how their own childhood and experiences affect their approach to parenting so they can both pass on positive traditions and break negative cycles. Observing parents engaging with their children on the floor, speaking slowly, and being connected to their child’s needs showcases the positive impact of the mental health training series. Slowing down, being present, and meeting children where they are promotes stronger connections and attachment. Parents become superior advocates, fostering deeper engagement, attachment, and a profound sense of accomplishment, further strengthening the parent-child bond.

- L'Shanna Klein