By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of Oklahoma infants, young children and their caregivers, Sunbeam Family Services offers free, specialized Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health training to the community.
Infant-Early Mental Health refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to three years.
The program’s goal is to lessen the impact of stress and trauma for infants and children prenatally through age five. Sunbeam’s Infant-Early Mental Health program supports the child’s health and well-being, strengthens family relationships and prevents further significant health and mental health issues.
Sunbeam offers free, specialized Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health training to the community. Discussion topics include: child development, attachment, adverse childhood experiences, the impact of trauma on the developing brain and the importance of nurturing relationships in the earliest years to promote and support health and well-being.
Research by Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child shows that the brain develops 85 percent of all the neural connections it will need in life before the age of six. Thus, experiences on infants and very young children have a much stronger impact, for good or bad.
“Sunbeam is one of the only organizations in central Oklahoma with a focus on Infant-Early Mental Health specialization,” said Amy Chlouber, LPC-S, director of Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health. “In Oklahoma, 65 percent of infants and young children have at least one risk factor known to impact healthy development.”
A nurturing caregiving relationship with at least one adult can help buffer the impact of stress and trauma in the earliest years. Young children without healthy attachments are at much greater risk for delinquency, substance abuse and depression into adulthood.
Sunbeam’s Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health program offers therapy services by licensed and licensed-eligible therapists to families with infants, very young children and their caregivers prenatally through age five. Therapists receive ongoing specialized training and reflective consultation to support them in providing high quality, relationship focused family therapy services.
Founded in 1907, Sunbeam Family Services is one of Oklahoma’s longest serving nonprofits, providing help, hope and the opportunity to succeed to people of all ages and all stages of life in central Oklahoma through Early Childhood, Counseling, Foster Care and Senior Services.
For more information about Sunbeam’s Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health program, contact Amy Chlouber, LPC-S, at 405-609-1958 or [email protected].
Sunbeam Family Services is asking the community to support them in raising $87,000 to help children, families and seniors learn, grow, heal and thrive. For more information, call 405-609-8994.
To learn more about Sunbeam Family Services, visit sunbeamfamilyservices.org.