Time to Act ECHO Project Addresses Mental Health Across the Lifespan

By JoLynne Lyon | October 4, 2023
an elderly brown hand holds a young light-skinned one

The Institute for Disability Research, Policy & Practice launches its fifth ECHO project on October 18. “Early Warning Signs of Infant Mental Health,” the first in a series of sessions, will kick off the free Time to Act ECHO: Mental Health Across the Lifespan.

The statewide training initiative is intended to build capacity and confidence among service providers from across disciplines.

“ECHO moves knowledge, not people,” said Janel Preston, who coordinates the Institute for Disability’s Project Echo. “The model gives front line providers the evidence-based knowledge to support their capacity and improve their services.”

The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated that mental illnesses are among the most common health condition in the United States. Figures from 2016 indicate 1 in 5 Americans will experience mental health struggles in a given year. Promoting awareness of mental health issues can greatly improve a person’s quality of life.

The Time to Act Mental Health Across the Life Span ECHO will be comprised of monthly sessions for a yearlong network. Each of the sessions will last 90 minutes and will be conducted through Zoom. The start of the network will focus on infant and childhood mental health (4 sessions), move to young children and adolescents (4 sessions), and wrap up the network with a focus on topics with adults and mental health (4 sessions). 

The target audience of these sessions is early childhood providers, behavioral health providers, administrators, mental health community clinics, social workers, medical providers and family members. 

Participants will receive highly relevant professional development, case-based learning, and opportunities to network with other professionals. This will result in teams that are trained more effectively to work with their clients. Service providers can register anytime during the duration of the project

IDRPP’s free ECHO sessions are led by experts who use videoconferencing to provide instruction and encourage conversation about evidence-based practices. The model is especially helpful in rural areas, giving service providers access to professional development and the input of their peers.

Other active ECHO projects include Early Intervention, Mental Health and Disability and Supporting Children of the Opioid Epidemic .

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