Making it work: Preventive mental health care for disadvantaged preschoolers

Mary Edlefsen, Margaret Baird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Combining education and mental health services in a preschool setting for disadvantaged children can produce significant benefits for these children and their parents. At a time of fiscal constraints, partnerships between the education and mental health sectors can amplify both systems’ achievements in a time-efficient manner. Such partnerships recognize and use each profession’s expertise to create a more balanced, efficient, and realistic approach to serving children. This article looks at the technical, interpersonal, theoretical, and philosophical aspects of developing mental health-education partnerships in community preschool programs for disadvantaged children and their families. Issues to be addressed in establishing such partnerships include the referral process and tracking of client status, roles and job definition, communication, mutual respect, space and territory issues, and confidentiality. Family outreach, the parent-therapist partnership, professional boundaries, and benefits of partnership are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Work (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • Children
  • Community-based programs
  • Poverty
  • Preschoolers
  • Psvchoeducational approach


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