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Office of Mental Health recognizes Western New York early intervention project


Wed, May 4th 2016 05:40 pm

Help Me Grow WNY honored for dedication to providing early screenings for children with behavioral health concerns

Help Me Grow WNY has been honored at the New York State Office of Mental Health's "What's Great in Our State 2016," an event that celebrates the people and programs making a difference in the field of children's mental health. The award winner was recognized at an event on Tuesday in Albany.

"The people who make up the Help Me Grow WNY project are making exceptional strides to bring children's mental health awareness and treatment to the forefront of the health care discussion," said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. "We thank this dedicated organization for their hard work and commitment to the cause."

Help Me Grow WNY is a project that provides access to free development screenings and resources to help parents in Western New York monitor all developmental milestones during early childhood, including physical, cognitive and social-emotional growth. The program focuses on children age 5 and under, providing early identification before reaching school age. The program is also working to bring the Help Me Grow model to other regions of New York.

The program was honored by the Office of Mental Health for its extraordinary commitment to children's mental health issues and its dedication to reaching young children in their early developmental stages to prevent them from falling through the cracks.

"The Help Me Grow Western New York coalition of agencies is pleased to be recognized for our efforts to provide early identification, family support and connection to community resources to the children we serve," said Lynn Pullano, CEO of the Child Care Resource Network in Buffalo. "Help Me Grow WNY has screened over 1,000 children in Erie and Niagara counties, and has identified hundreds of young children who will benefit from additional evaluation and supports. Our program is giving parents the education, resources and peace of mind they need to ensure their children lead healthy, happy lives."

 "What's Great in Our State" is an annual event hosted by the New York State Office of Mental Health, the New York State Council on Children and Families, and a number of children's mental health advocacy organizations. It celebrates individuals and programs that are successfully advancing the cause of children's mental health in New York. The event features a reading of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement proclaiming the week as Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, a ceremony recognizing people and programs creating positive change in the children's mental health system, and an art show featuring artwork created by children receiving services from New York's mental health system.

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, a national event, seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children's mental health and to show positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.

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