Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

The Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation defines Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation as “a prevention-based service that pairs a mental health consultant with families and adults who work with infants and young children in the different settings where they learn and grow, such as child care, preschool, and their home. The aim is to build adults’ capacity to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of children―early and before intervention is needed.”

From 2014-2019, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes piloted a Mental Health Consultation program in early childhood preschool settings.  The following video tells the story of their work, and the ways that they have adapted the work to fit in the CSKT community.  For the full video, please click here:



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To view the information by topic, please see below for short clips that highlight the work done by CSKT Project LAUNCH.




Intro to MHC


Intro to MHC > An Introduction to Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation – by CSKT Project LAUNCH

Description: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe’s Project LAUNCH program explains the importance of infant and early childhood mental health consultation.  The project shares about the work that they have done, and the ways that the work has benefitted their community.



MHC Role

MHC Role > The Role of a Childhood Mental Health Consultant – by Marcella Adolph

Description: Consultation is a different approach to mental health, which uses relationship building and social emotional skills building to help young children cope with life’s stressors.  Rather than focusing on “fixing” behaviors, the consultant assists with creating optimal learning environments.  Marcella shares about her role, and strategies that she uses to teach regulation, engagement, and growth for children, families and teachers.




Scaffolding in MHC

Scaffolding in MHC > Providing Scaffolding in Mental Health Consultation – by Marcella Adolph

Description: Support is provided through the technique of scaffolding.  The consultant positions herself strategically to support staff, parents and children.  Her scaffolding helps each grow and develop, and she helps each foster creativity, curiosity, and a healthy environment to grow.  This partnership enables each child, caregiver, or staff member to bring their own ideas and build solutions together.




More Benefits

More Benefits > Further Benefits of Mental Health Consultation – by Marcella Adolph

Description: The consultant co-constructs goals and support with teachers and families, and can provide resources to support learning and growth.  Children are able to practice regulation skills with the consultant, and learn more about expressing their emotions.  She models healthy and respectful interactions between adults and children, and she assists classrooms in incorporating social emotional themes throughout.  She also focuses on communications between school and home, so that children’s support is consistent between environments. 




Relationship Development

Relationship Development > How Relationships are Developed – by Marcella Adolph

Description: The consultant connects with the children, builds a trusting relationship with them, and then is able to model and teach them skills to assist their healthy development.  She describes the importance of building a connection before undertaking the work, and the power that comes through relationships that are built.  This is true in peer relationships, adult-child relationships, or teacher-parent relationships. 




TMAS Model

TMAS Model > The Tell Me A Story Model, Social-Emotional Storytelling – by Marcella Adolph

Description: The consultant shares about a model she used called “Tell me a Story”.  This model takes children’s storybooks, and through specific teaching and reflection, brings out social emotional themes.  Children learn about emotional expression, a wide range of emotions, and how to appropriately express them through the stories that the consultant reads.  The consultant also uses this model to train teachers in their reading of stories to children.




No Thank You

No Thank You > Using Positive Language, “No Thank You” – by Marcella Adolph

Description: The consultant uses respectful and positive language as she connects with children, and is able to see behavioral changes as she teaches social skills.  She discusses the ways that using positive language affects not only the child, but also the school environment.  Specifically, using the phrase “no thank you” when working to shape a child’s negative behaviors has shown a considerable impact on the classroom discipline and structure.





Culture > The Role that Culture Plays – by Marcella Adolph

Description: Culture is an important part of the work that is done, and the consultant describes ways that her own culture and the culture of the children are impacted through relationship building.  She discusses the ways that children understand their own cultures, and the ways that their understanding can be supported and fostered in the classroom.  Each individual comes into an interaction from their cultural perspective, and the consultant shares about the importance of honoring each perspective.




Baby Rattlesnake

Baby Rattlesnake > An Example of Tell Me A Story Using “Baby Rattlesnake” – by Marcella Adolph

Description: The consultant demonstrates how to read a cultural story to a classroom through using the Tell Me A Story (TMAS) model.  She reads through “Baby Rattlesnake” as she would in a classroom, and describes the way to slow down, engage with the characters, and create empathy through storytelling as she models the TMAS approach.