Erikson Institute’s Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy this week will host leading child advocates, researchers, and state officials from Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin to discuss mental health services for children and infants. The day-long policy conference, “Building Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) Systems: Financing, Workforce Development, and Service Delivery,” will be held on Friday, Oct. 24 at Erikson’s new River North campus in Chicago.

The conference will focus on funding, staffing and infrastructure needs to support mental health services, particularly for young children in high-risk families. Recent Herr Research projects will be discussed, including a presentation of early findings from the Center’s study on children’s mental health policy in the three-state region, and the recent evaluation of the Prevention Initiative Mental Health Consultation and Training Program in Illinois. The conference will conclude with a discussion of future steps.

Presentations will include:
Tammy Mann, deputy executive director of ZERO TO THREE and Jennifer May, health policy specialist at the National Academy for State Health Policy, overview of ECMH national trends and funding issues.
Eboni Howard, director of the Herr Research Center, discussion of ECMH policies in the Great Lakes region.
Jon Korfmacher, Erikson associate professor and faculty associate of the Herr Research Center, report on issues in workforce development and systems building in early childhood mental health.
Samantha Wulfsohn, director of the Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Project and Linda Gilkerson, Erikson professor and director of the Irving B. Harris Infant Studies Program, discussion of a consultation model developed to build and sustain a statewide network of qualified infant mental health (IMH) consultants addressing the mental health needs of high-risk families.

About Erikson Institute and its Herr Research Center: Established in 2005, the Herr Research Center of Chicago’s Erikson Institute informs, supports and encourages effective early childhood policy in the Great Lakes Region. Erikson Institute is the nation’s only graduate school to focus exclusively on child development from birth to age eight. An independent institution of higher education, the Institute has prepared child development professionals for more than 40 years.

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