Promoting Social Emotional Development and Early Childhood Mental Health in Young Children

A Roadmap for Long Island

In October of 2021 three institutions dedicated to the health and well-being of children declared a National Emergency in Children’s Mental Health. Help Me Grow – Long Island’s latest report “Promoting Social Emotional Development and Early Childhood Mental Health in Young Children” provides Long Island’s policy and decision makers with the knowledge and a path forward to start promoting mental health and social-emotional well-being from birth.

Many long-term mental, emotional, and behavioral health problems take root in the first five years of life. However, despite heightened awareness of the importance of social emotional development and increased early identification of mental health problems, Long Island communities continue to face barriers in the promotion of social emotional development and the prevention of mental health problems. 

This report from Help Me Grow – Long Island is the result of input from experts in early childhood services across Long Island. Now is the time to share this widely and put into action what are recognized as evidence-based long term solutions for Long Island’s children and families. 

“Our New Year’s journey begins with a single step. Now that we have a Roadmap, we can move forward confidently. ”  

– Joaniko Kohchi, MA, MPHIL, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E Director Institute for Parenting, Adelphi University

“Long Island has long needed a structured plan to address early childhood mental health, this plan from Docs for Tots outlines important steps we need to take to become a leader in NYS.”

– Candida Cucharo, MBA, MSW, Co-President at New York State Association for Infant Mental Health

“Let’s take this roadmap and get moving! Now is the time to make meaningful evidence based investments so that children and families can thrive.”

– Liz Isakson, MD, FAAP Executive Director, Docs for Tots

“In the new Covid based reality, a roadmap for providing effective, cost-efficient early childhood mental health is no longer optional. It is essential to protect our next generation’s mental and physical health and well-being”

– Richard E. Honigman, MD, FAAP, NYS AAP Chapter 2 Chair, Committee Developmental/Behavior Pediatrics, Member Board of Directors NYS Association for Infant Health

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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate