The Institute for Family Health Announces Early Childhood Mental Health Program in the Bronx



New York, NY (November 25, 2015) – Yesterday, the Institute for Family Health held an Open House for its new Early Childhood Mental Health Program. The new program, offered in collaboration with the New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD), provides mental health services to children under age five. The Early Childhood Mental Health program aims to foster healthy social and emotional development for children in need.

“Mental health services for 0-4 year-olds are limited, though vital, and the co-location of these services in a family health center makes them even more accessible to the people who need them,” said Victoria Ward, LCSW, the Institute’s Regional Director of Psychosocial Services for the Bronx.

The Open House was held at the Institute’s Walton Family Health Center in the Bronx. The event was attended by community leaders, Bronx service providers, and Lucy Recio, Deputy Director of Education & Youth Services at the Bronx Borough President’s office. Staff from the New York Center for Child Development, which will provide staff psychologists and expertise for the program was in attendance to present on early childhood mental health needs, symptoms and the importance in providing this service.

“We are very excited about this partnership and integrating early childhood mental health into primary care,” said Evelyn Blanck, LCSW, Associate Executive Director of the NYCCD.

Hazel Guzman, MA, Early Childhood Specialist at Walton Family Health Center, gave an overview of the program and the services offered. Participants learned about early detection and intervention, and the verbal and nonverbal signs a child in need may exhibit. Attendees also learned about treatment options, including play therapy and child-parent psychotherapy.

Early Childhood Mental Health Services are offered in both English and Spanish at two of the Institute’s locations, Walton Family Health Center (1894 Walton Avenue in the Bronx) and the Family Health Center of Harlem (1824 Madison Avenue in Manhattan).  Services are available to all, regardless of ability to pay. To access mental health services for a child under the age of five, please contact: Center for Counseling at Walton Family Health Center – (718) 583-2508.