The foundations of mental health are set in the first five years
The foundation of a child's "healthy mental development" includes the ability to regulate and express emotions, form close personal relationships with other children and adults, and explore and learn from their environment. Iowa has several programs that are focused on the healthy development of children in their early childhood. More information on these programs can be found below:
- 1st Five: Iowa's 1st Five Health Mental Development initiative builds partnerships between physician practices and public service providers to enhance high quality well-child care. 1st Five promotes the use of developmental tools that support healthy mental development for young children during the first five years. By using a tool for all children that includes social-emotional developmental and family risk factors, providers are able to identify children at risk for developmental concerns that, if left untreated, would play out later in life.
- Early ACCESS: The focus of Early ACCESS is to support parents to help their children learn and grow throughout their everyday activities and routines. Early ACCESS is available to infants and toddlers from birth to age three years who meet eligibility requirements.
- EPSDT Care for Kids: EPSDT is the Early Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program for children who are enrolled in Medicaid. The focus of this program is to assure that eligible children ages birth through 20 years receive preventive health care services, including oral health care. In Iowa, the EPSDT program is called Care for Kids. EPSDT Care for Kids services are free to children enrolled in Medicaid.