Best Practice

Massachusetts Partnership for Early Childhood Mental Health: LAUNCH/MYCHILD Model

State/Jurisdiction: Massachusetts
Setting: Clinical
Population: Children Medical & Public Health Professionals
Topic Area: Primary & Preventative Care Mental Health & Substance Use Care Coordination
NPMs: NPM 11: Medical Home

LAUNCH/MYCHILD is an integrated behavioral health model that embeds an Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician and a Family Partner in pediatric primary care to provide early identification, brief intervention, and facilitated referrals to services and resources, in order to promote nurturing relationships, prevent concerning behaviors and reduce the families’ stressors. The LAUNCH/MYCHILD model is an integrated care model developed by the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, with seven pilot implementation partner agencies, and six expansion partner sites with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The model is based within the medical home and designed to improve the social and emotional wellness of young children, including infants, and their families. The LAUNCH/MYCHILD model is delivered by a unique two-person Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) team in partnership with primary care providers and families. The ECMH team consists of an early childhood mental health clinician specially trained to intervene at the earliest signs of mental health problems in infants and young children, and a family partner who is a highly-trained community health worker with the lived experience of raising a child with behavioral challenges. The ECMH team provides services spanning the continuum of promotion, prevention and intervention/treatment. Families are referred to the ECMH team by the primary care provider or they self-refer. Services are provided in the medical home or in community-based settings convenient for the family, including at their home or early education/school. After the initial referral, families participate in a thorough engagement and assessment process to identify strengths and discuss potential areas of need and growth for the family. The assessment helps shape a care plan, using a multi-generational approach to identify and work towards meeting goals for optimal social and emotional wellness of the young child and family. In collaboration with primary care providers, the ECMH team works with families to identify skills and resources within themselves and their communities to achieve their goals. The team promotes healthy relationships and nurturing environments to address and mitigate a child’s concerning behaviors and their stressful impact on families. LAUNCH/MYCHILD focuses on enhancing the capacity of parents and primary care providers to prevent minor behavioral problems from becoming increasingly challenging, disruptive, and more costly over time.

Back to Database