Description: Strategies focused on the promotion of healthy child development and prevention of developmental challenges are the focus of this dialogue with staff from a Project LAUNCH program initiative serving children, ages birth to 8, in a rural and economically impoverished region of Southern Ohio. Despite limited resources, the community has sustained the initiative beyond the federal grant. The presenter shared insights and stories that will inspire and inform participants as they consider how to build on the strengths in rural communities and families who face formidable challenges in addressing the health and behavioral health needs of children and youth. Through a facilitated discussion, this dynamic Project Launch leader addressed: practical strategies; the integration of primary care and behavioral health; engaging families of young children; addressing financing challenges; state and community partnerships; return on investment, and more. The discussion highlighted the work of Project LAUNCH in Southern Ohio and provided lessons learned of this innovative rural team that can help others develop and enhance their early childhood initiatives and promote early childhood mental health and well-being.
Dawn Graham, Ph.D., Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Assistant Professor of Social Medicine - Project AWARE, Southern Ohio;
Ekaterina Zoubak, Public Health Advisor, Mental Health Promotion Branch, SAMHSA.
Karen B. Francis, Ph. D, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research (AIR)