Illinois tackles childhood mental health

Illinois was one of ten states selected to participate in a ZERO TO THREE Policy Center meeting to advance state policy related to improving infant and early childhood mental health. ZERO TO THREE is a non-profit organization that works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. 

On October 13-14, government agencies, advocacy organizations and child and family service programs gathered in Minneapolis to address mental health prevention, intervention and treatment programs. The goal of the meeting was to identify state strategies to align health care finance policy, specifically Medicaid, with infant and early childhood mental health practice. 

ZERO TO THREE estimates that between 9 to 14 percent of children from birth to five years-old experience at least one emotional or behavioral disturbance. If left untreated, that disturbance can have long-term negative impacts on a child’s mental health development. 

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