Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County Awards $26,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Home > Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County Awards $26,000 to Tykes & Teens for Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation


The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County has awarded a $26,000 grant to Tykes & Teens, a leading provider of the highest quality, evidence-based mental health services and programs for children and adolescents for 25 years.  The funding will support the agency’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation program.  Tykes & Teens is the only provider of this high-fidelity, evidence-based programming on the Treasure Coast, and the only Infant Mental Health provider in the region serving clients from newborn to age five and their families.

“We greatly appreciate The Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County supporting our commitment to fostering social emotional development in early childcare settings in order to promote long-term community wellness,” says Elizabeth Appleton, Tykes & Teens’ Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation.  “This investment allows us to provide much-needed services that reduce disparities and supports a systems change resulting in long-term emotional healthiness benefits for our children, families and the community as a whole.”

“We have partnered with Tykes & Teens for several years on Infant Mental Health and Trauma Informed Care initiatives through funding provided by both our Children’s Service Council and the United Way of St. Lucie County,” said Tony Loupe, CEO, Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County.  “We have seen the great work their specialized therapists do with children and families experiencing challenges, along with providing supports for the teachers of our childcare centers.  When we were informed by Florida’s Office of Early Learning, Department of Education, of the ability to receive additional funding through the Federal Preschool Development Birth through Five Renewal Grant focusing on mental health initiatives, we immediately thought of Tykes & Teens.  This funding will enhance our existing partnership commitment to our most vulnerable and youngest of children we serve while strengthening the childcare teacher and parent’s skills to support children’s healthy social emotional development.”

As part of its Infant Mental Health programming and services for individuals and families, Tykes & Teens collaborates with childcare centers throughout the Treasure Coast by providing Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC).  The goal of IECMHC is to build the capacity of adult caregivers to strengthen and support the healthy social and emotional development of young children within the classroom setting.  Through this evidence-based prevention approach, highly specialized child development therapists work with childcare center caregivers to promote social competence and addressing challenging behavior, early and before formalized intervention is needed.  Through on-site Mental Health Consultation, therapists are able to create safe relationships with childcare center staff to address teacher stress, use of culturally responsive classroom practices, and the use of a trauma-informed care lens.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

About Tykes & Teens

Tykes & Teens has been a leading mental health provider for children and adolescent evidence-based programs and services for 25 years.  Our passion and commitment are to empowering children and strengthening families by ensuring that all children have access to high quality counseling and mental health services, regardless of financial status.  Our mission is prioritizing children’s mental health in our families, schools and communities through a wide range of prevention, education, and treatment programs and services.  We also advocate for increased awareness of mental health to remove the stigma and shame often associated with seeking mental health treatment.  Since our inception, we have provided affordable quality mental health services for more than 60,000 children in need across the Treasure Coast from more than 50 service locations, including outpatient offices in Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach, on-site services in all Martin County schools, and in schools in Okeechobee and Indian River counties, as well as collaboration with numerous community partners, in addition to virtual telehealth services.  We have continued to offer our services and programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual telehealth care.  We accept most insurance, private payments, and we are a Medicaid-approved provider. We have successfully administered a sliding fee scale for those in need when necessary for more than 20 years.  As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, we also provide $750,000 in unreimbursed services to the communities we serve each year.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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