The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) with support from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Mary Howard, HDI Research and Development Associate for Early Care and Education, as a Children’s Mental Health Champion. Mary is one of six people selected for this opportunity to serve as a state liaison to the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health program. She will act as community champion change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of positive parenting practices; develop and test strategies for building partnerships to promote identification, screening, referral, and intervention; and implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) and promote better connections between these systems.
Mary serves as the Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky and has a network of potential partners who serve children and their families across the Commonwealth.
Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says “We’ve known Mary as a champion for early childhood for many years. This new role is so important in bridging mental health needs for our little-ist Kentuckians. Having an opportunity for dialogue at a national level will help strengthen families in the Commonwealth.”
In addition to Kentucky, individuals were selected to represent California, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can learn more about the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health Program at https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html and AUCD at www.aucd.org.
Project Contact: Mary.Howard@uky.edu