Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.


Resources for Managing the Aftermath of the Parkland, FL School Shooting Disaster

February 20, 2018

Resources for Managing the Aftermath of the Parkland, FL School Shooting Disaster

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The Critical Role of Pediatric Primary Care in Addressing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

January 31, 2018

New Issue Brief on Critical Role of Pediatrics in ADHD

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Children’s Defense Fund New Report on State of America’s Children

January 11, 2018

Children’s Defense Fund releases new report, The State of America’s Children® 2017.

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ADHD Project Underway

January 9, 2018

CHDI has begun working with 11 pediatric primary care practices to adopt the American Academy of Pediatrics’ primary care guidelines for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University Releases Videos for Early Childhood Teachers

October 31, 2017

The Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University released the latest video in their Teaching Strategies series.

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Three Foundations Join Forces to Advance Obesity Prevention Efforts in Connecticut

October 16, 2017

The Children’s Fund of Connecticut (CFC) announced that three Connecticut-based Foundations have combined resources to award $194,884 in grants for obesity prevention projects in Connecticut

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New Report On Investing in Programs that Support Infants and Toddlers

October 12, 2017

This report promotes 13 core policies that are “…rooted in evidence and allowable under current law. Each core policy addresses the needs of infants, toddlers, and families..”

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September 28, 2017

Today, Mayor Luke Bronin and the UConn Health Husky Nutrition Evaluation Team led by Dr. Ann Ferris released a report showing that between 2012 and 2016, the percentage of overweight or obese children enrolled in Hartford early learning programs decreased by 5%, and average body mass decreased by more than 4 percentile points, thanks in part to a series of initiatives by the City, UConn, and community partners.

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CHDI to Help Pediatricians Adopt National ADHD Guidelines

September 14, 2017

CHDI will help pediatric primary care practices diagnose ADHD in patients and connect them to the behavioral health care they need.

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Children are Still Being Exposed to Lead

September 7, 2017

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Health Impact Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts–inspired by Flint and other impacted communities–represents a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of the sources of lead exposure for children and how that exposure can be prevented

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Approaching Suicide Prevention Holistically

August 9, 2017

Read the story from the Child Trends blog about the importance of approaching suicide prevention holistically.

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A New Understanding of the Childhood Brain

August 2, 2017

Video on toxic stress and brain development

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Results of Children’s Literacy Study

July 17, 2017

Read an article from Read to Grow about how a children’s literacy study linked hearing words to reading ability.

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Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health

June 18, 2017

Read the article from Sea Coast Online about how you can help support your child’s mental health.

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How Yoga is Helping Girls Heal from Trauma

May 31, 2017

Read the article from The Conversation about how yoga is helping girls heal from trauma.

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New Resources on Suicide Prevention Added to

May 23, 2017

Two resources were added to the resource library of this website focused on suicide prevention. They focus on talking points for parents about the new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”

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Pediatricians Say No to Fruit Juice in First Year

May 22, 2017

Top pediatricians say no to fruit juice in the first year of life.

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Five Ways the Arts are Good for Kids

April 22, 2017

Read the article from Child Trends that outlines five ways the arts are good for kids.

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Brief Videos on Teaching Strategies

April 21, 2017

Watch the most recent Teaching Strategies videos released by The Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University.

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Connecticut Debates Tax on Sugary Beverages

April 11, 2017

Read an article from the CT Post on how CT state lawmakers are debating introducing a tax on sugary beverages in the state.

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WNPR Interview on Early Childhood Trauma

March 29, 2017

Read about the interview between WNPR’s Diane Orson and the Child Health and Development Institute’s Jason Lang about trauma in young children, and how Connecticut is expanding services to focus on these children.

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Paid FMLA Bill is Top Priority for Senate Democrats

February 27, 2017

Read the article from CT News Junkie about how the Family and Medical Leave bill is a top priority for Senate Democrats.

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Interview on Early Childhood Obesity

February 16, 2017

Listen to Mike Bellamy and Abby Alter discuss early childhood obesity in Connecticut.

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Early intervention: charities’ vital role in supporting children’s mental health

February 16, 2017

Read the article from The Guardian about charities’ vital role in supporting children’s mental health and early intervention.

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How Mass Incarceration Pushes Black Children Further Behind in School

January 17, 2017

Read the article from The Atlantic that discusses the Child Trends study on how mass incarceration pushes black children further behind in school.

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Why Social and Emotional Skill Building in Early Childhood Matters

December 15, 2016

Read the article from Child Trends about the importance of social and emotional skill building in early childhood.

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What Can Schools Do to Build Resilience in their Students?

December 15, 2016

Read the article from Child Trends about initiatives that schools can take in order to build resilience in the students.

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A Baby Court Offers Hope for Families

December 1, 2016

Read the New York Times article about the Baby Court program in Michigan that helps families whose children come under court jurisdiction.

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5 Things to Know about Mental Wellness in Early Childhood

November 10, 2016

Read the Child Trends story “5 Things to Know about Mental Wellness in Early Childhood.”

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Music Therapy Can Reduce Depression in Children and Adolescents

November 4, 2016

Read about the research that found that music therapy can help reduce depression in children and adolescents.

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CT Stepping Up Efforts to Treat Trauma in the Very Young

November 4, 2016

Read about Connecticut’s efforts to identify and treat trauma in young children.

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Barriers to Early Childhood Education for Boys of Color

October 14, 2016

Read the report from Child Care Aware of America that details some of the barriers that boys of color face in childhood education.

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New Issue Brief: Addressing Child Development Concerns Early: Engaging Early Care & Education Providers in Developmental Monitoring & Screening

October 7, 2016

New issue brief about the importance of developmental monitoring and screening in early care and education sites.

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Five Things To Know About the Early Childhood Workforce

September 23, 2016

Read the Child Trends report titled “Five things to know about the early childhood workforce.”

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NPR Story on Connecticut’s Solution to Preschool Suspensions

September 15, 2016

Read the NPR story “Preschool Suspensions Really Happen And That’s Not Okay With Connecticut.”

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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 15, 2016

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

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Interview with Judith Meyers on the Connection Between Social-Emotional Health and Early Literacy

August 31, 2016

Listen to the interview with Judith Meyers about the connection between social-emotional health and early literacy, and read the corresponding IMPACT report from the Child Health and Development Institute.

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National Breastfeeding Month News Stories

August 5, 2016

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month.

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Early Childhood Video Clip Library for Faculty and Trainers

July 28, 2016

Early Childhood Video Clip Library

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What do we invest in the country’s youngest? Little to nothing

July 21, 2016

Read the article from The Hechinger Report about how the United States needs to start investing more in early childhood.

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New Infographic to Help Parents Recognize the Signs of Child Traumatic Stress

July 12, 2016

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative has developed an infographic that can parents recognize and get help for child traumatic stress

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The Urgency in Fighting Childhood Obesity

July 5, 2016

Please read this story from The New York Times, personal health section. The article discusses the negative impact that childhood obesity has on future health outcomes. It also urges parents to encourage healthy eating habits at home,  including: drink …

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2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

June 23, 2016

Read the 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book that was released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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Thought of Suicide in Young Adults

June 22, 2016

Read the article from Health Day on the rates of thoughts of suicide in young adults.

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5 Ways Fathers Matter

June 16, 2016

Read the Child Trends article on 5 ways that fathers matter.

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Help Spread the Word about Summer Meals for Kids

June 8, 2016

End Hunger CT and the State Department of Education are looking for volunteers to help spread the word about summer meal programs available for children throughout CT. They are hosting a “blitz” week the week of June 20-June 25, 2016 and need help! To …

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To Help Kids Thrive, Coach Their Parents (NY Times Opinion Piece)

June 6, 2016

This article focuses on the impact that attachment and playing with your children at a young age has on their overall positive development.   To go directly to the article, please click here.

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Article Highlights Connecticut’s Progress in Addressing Children’s Mental Health

June 6, 2016

An article in The Wall Street Journal on May 23 highlights Connecticut’s progress in addressing children’s mental health and notes budget concerns. CHDI’s Judith Meyers was quoted: “Connecticut is seen as a leader in its delivery of mental-health servi …

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“How Urban Living Affects Children’s Mental Health”

May 18, 2016

Read the article from Science Daily about how living in urban areas can affect a child’s mental health.

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CHDI Report on Connecting Social and Emotional Health and Literacy

May 13, 2016

Read the Child Health and Development Institute’s latest IMPACT report on connecting social and emotional health and literacy.

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Behavior Therapy Training for Parents of Children with ADHD

May 13, 2016

Read articles from Children’s Mental Health Network and NBC News explaining how parents of children with ADHD should receive some training in behavior therapy.

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CHDI’s Report Prepared for the Juvenile Justice and Oversight Committee is Now Available

April 19, 2016

The State’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee asked The Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) to assess ways to improve coordination between juvenile justice and children’s behavioral health systems in Connecticut.

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Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Introduces New Video on Early Learning and Development Standards

April 19, 2016

Training video on Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards

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Community Forum in Bridgeport on Mental Health Services

April 5, 2016

Sharing information about a “Come Share Your Experience” forum in Bridgeport on mental health services. The forum is hosted by the State Innovation Model initiative,

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The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood Introduces New Videos for Early Care and Education Providers

March 31, 2016

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood is pleased to introduce a new video series for Connecticut early care and education providers.

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Resources for Families with Toxic Stress

March 30, 2016

Toxic Stress, Help me Grow, CDI,

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Policy Brief Released – Ensuring Young Children Grow Up at a Healthy Weight: Policy Opportunities to Prevent Obesity

March 21, 2016

CHDI released a policy brief “Ensuring Young Children Grow Up at a Healthy Weight: Policy Opportunities to Prevent Obesity.” It gives an overview of the childhood obesity issue, highlights opportunities for prevention, and recommends five specific ways that Connecticut’s child care settings and hospitals can help our youngest children get off to a healthy start.

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CHDI Policy Brief: Ensuring the Best Start for Connecticut’s Children

March 15, 2016

Read the latest policy brief from the Child Health and Development Institute about ensuring the best start for Connecticut’s children by aligning policy with science.

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U.S. Pediatricians to Add Poverty to Well-Visit Checklist

March 9, 2016

U.S. Pediatricians to Add Poverty to Well-Visit Checklist

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February is National School Based Health Center Awareness Month!

February 25, 2016

February is national School Based Health Center awareness month. Read the Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers’ newsletter, and explore their website to learn more about why School Based Health Centers are so important.

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Screening for Depression in Children and Adolescents: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

February 15, 2016

The USPSTF recommends screening for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up

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Yale Program Trains Child Care Providers on Proper Medication Administration

February 5, 2016

Read the Connecticut Health I-Team story about how the Yale School of Nursing and Child Health and Development Institute have been collaborating on a program that trains child care providers to properly administer medications for children.

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Panel Calls for Depression Screenings During and After Pregnancy

January 26, 2016

Read the New York Times article about how an influential government-appointed health panel recommended that women should be screened for depression both during pregnancy and after birth.

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Upcoming Event: Discussion/Advice on Children’s Behavioral Health Problems

January 7, 2016

Read about the webisode “Finding Help, Finding Hope: What to do if you think your child may have a mental health problem” that is being taped at the 2016 NBC-4 Health & Fitness Expo in Washington DC.

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Study: Child Care Workers Affect Childhood Obesity

December 14, 2015

Read about a study that highlights challenges and opportunities that child care workers have to influence the eating habits and physical activities of children in order to help combat obesity.

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Talking With Your Kids About Tragedy

December 8, 2015

Read two articles with information and tips on talking with your kids about tragedy.

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Post-Newtown Program Helps Children Get Mental Health Care

November 12, 2015

Read the CT Mirror article about the consultation services that pediatric primary care providers can now use as part of the program Access Mental Health CT.

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Many Kids With Mental Health Issues See Only Pediatricians

November 4, 2015

Read the article from Huffington Post about how many children with mental health issues are now seeing their primary care doctor, instead of a specialist, for treatment.

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WNPR Interview: Link Between Health and Education for Children

October 20, 2015

Listen to an interview on WNPR on the link between health and education for children.

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Article on the Positive Effects of Social Emotional Learning in Schools

October 19, 2015

Read an article from the CT Mirror on how social emotional learning in schools can reduce the number of suspensions and make the schools safer.

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Article on What Works for Reducing Problem Behaviors in Early Childhood

October 15, 2015

This study evaluates early childhood programs, and their ability to reduce problem behaviors in young children.

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CHDI Staff- Radio Interview About Childhood Trauma

October 13, 2015

John Voket interviewed Jason Lang for a segment on trauma, which aired 10/11/15 on the For the People radio show. To listen to the interview click here.    

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“Trauma Matters” Fall Publication

October 5, 2015

The fall publication for “Trauma Matters”, produced by the CT Women’s Consortium and the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, was recently released, and includes an article written by CHDI staff member Mayte Restrepo.

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WNPR story about Connecticut’s Mid-Level Developmental Assessment approach

September 30, 2015

Read the WNPR story about the mid-level assessments with which Connecticut is identifying children with mild behavioral or mental health problems. These children can then be connected to early intervention services.

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CHDI releases new IMPACT publication about Trauma-Informed Systems for Children

September 22, 2015

Read CHDI’s newest IMPACT report about trauma-informed systems for children, as well as news articles featuring the report.

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CT Mirror story about Social Workers in Primary Care Doctors Offices

September 8, 2015

Read about how some primary care offices are taking the next step towards behavioral health integration into primary care by adding social workers to practices.

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Medication Administration in Child Care Settings

August 31, 2015

Read CHDI’s latest issue brief about how Connecticut is making medication administration safe in child care settings.

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School-Based Diversion Initiative Video Released

August 28, 2015

To view a new video about CHDI’s  School-Based Diversion Initiative, a model that works with schools to reduce in-school arrests and referrals to the juvenile justice system, please click here.

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Early Childhood Health Targeted As Path To Better Education

August 23, 2015

Read about early childhood efforts underway in CT to help ensure better educational outcomes for children.

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10 biggest worries about children’s health

August 12, 2015

10 biggest worries about children’s health

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Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives

July 24, 2015

Read about an important study that shows the importance of teaching social and emotional skills to young children.

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School-Based Diversion Initiative Conference

June 3, 2015

On June 3rd, The Child Health and Development Institute helped host a school-based diversion initiative conference in New Haven on restorative practices for school administrators, police and community leaders. Restorative practices “seek to develop goo …

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National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

May 8, 2015

In honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and Mental Health Awareness Month we have some important news and resources. Please click here to learn more.

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CHDI releases new IMPACT publication about the Infant Mental Health Workforce

March 23, 2015

Please read the media articles that discuss our new IMPACT publication entitled: “The Infant Mental Health Workforce: Key to Promoting the Healthy Social and Emotional Development of Children.” To read the IMPACT, click here. To go to this link, click …

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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week- Overcoming Childhood Trauma

December 8, 2014

National studies estimate that as many as 71% of all children are exposed to a potentially traumatic event by the age of 17. In Connecticut, providers and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) estimate that 60–‐80% of all children have experie …

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New website launched to help parents who have children struggling with learning issues and attention issues

October 23, 2014

A new website was launched by 15 nonprofits, called This website provides support to parents who have children that struggle with with learning and attention issues. The goal of this website is to empower parents to understand their chi …

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New Findings on Timing and Range of Maternal Mental Illness

June 5, 2014

The New York Times has a two-series article on the topic of maternal depression.  There is a growing body of research finding that maternal mental illness is more common and might not only be considered “post-partum”. To read the article, please click …

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Odds of Abuse and Maltreatment Add up Over Children’s Lives

June 2, 2014

12.5 percent of children have experienced at least one episode of abuse and neglect by age 18, finds a study  published in JAMA, called, “The Prevalence of Confirmed Maltreatment Among US Children, 2004 to 2011”.  The numbers are worse for children in …

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New Resource to Help Families Navigate Mental Health Insurance Issues

January 8, 2014

The State of Connecticut launched a website last month to help families navigate mental health insurance issues. The Insurance Department’s “Mental Health Parity” Web page is a compilation of free resources, publications and tools that consumers can ea …

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CHDI Releases New Report: Improving Outcomes for Children in Schools: Expanded School Mental Health

August 5, 2013

This report examines available mental health services in school settings in Connecticut and summarizes the benefits and challenges of expanding these services to meet the current need. It also offers a framework to guide policy development and systems …

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Connecticut’s Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS)

May 28, 2013

This article is about Connecticut’s Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Services (EMPS). This service is free for Connecticut’s Children and can be accessed by dialing 211. To go directly to this article, click here. To learn more about EMPS, click here.

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CHDI relesases new Issue Brief – Building an Infant Mental Health Workforce

May 20, 2013

The Child Health and Development Institute’s recent issue brief focuses on “Building an Infant Mental Health Workforce.” An important component of addressing infant mental health is assuring that the adults who interact with young children and their fa …

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WNPR radio show “Where We Live” focuses on Mental Health and Children’s Mental Health

May 10, 2013

Yesterday’s “Where We Live” show on WNPR discussed a range of mental health topics, from adult suicide to a report from Connecticut Health Investigative Team on children’s mental health screening ( Children’s mental health includ …

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Connecticut Lags In Kids’ Mental Health Screening; Reforms Considered

May 4, 2013

C-HIT is a non-profit online news service that provides articles on health issues to local newspapers and online outlets. Data obtained by C-HIT indicates that only a fraction of children enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program receive a formal behavi …

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Classroom Teaches a Lesson in Mental Health Treatment

April 24, 2013

A new way of addressing children’s mental health is having a positive impact at a Hamden elementary school. The pilot program points to a potential new approach for Connecticut schools.  Experts say interventionists help identify and avert potentially …

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Connecticut 211 Barometer Report on Accessing Mental Health Resources

April 4, 2013

Connecticut’s  2-1-1 has released this latest “Barometer Report” which includes important links to children’s mental health resources, including our website for parents. To go directly to this report, click here.

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Resources to Help Parents, Teachers and Providers Cope with School Shooting

March 24, 2013

The following is a list of resources to help parents, teachers and providers cope with the recent school tragedy in Newtown. Please click here to go directly to the resource.

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DSM-5 Will Add PTSD for Preschoolers

March 20, 2013

The upcoming DSM-5, the diagnostic manual used by mental health providers, will include traumatic stress in young children as a diagnosis. This will help mental health providers better identify and understand child trauma and ensure that children get t …

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Interview with pediatrician Dr. Paul Dworkin on Children’s Mental Health featured on Better Connecticut

March 1, 2013

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s pediatrician, Dr. Paul Dworkin was interviewed on Better Connecticut to discuss children’s mental health issues. was featured in this interview. Please click here to go directly to the in …

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February 4, 2013

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and other state officials, today announced the establishment of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC). The new agency will provide a comprehensive, collaborative system for delivering improved programs and services to children a …

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Radio Interview on Child Trauma

January 15, 2013

On January 15th CHDI’s Bob Franks was interviewed by Mike Bellamy on WICC 600 AM on the issue of child trauma. Please click on the following link to listen to the radio show:

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A Commissioner outlines DCF reforms after Newtown

December 25, 2012

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner outlines new reforms in children’s mental health in response to the tragedy in Newtown. Please click here to read the article.

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Advice about How to Talk to Your Children After Recent Tragedy

December 20, 2012

At CHDI our hearts go out to all the children and families who have been impacted by the horrific school shooting in Newtown. CHDI Vice President and trauma expert, Dr. Bob Franks, advises: “As a parent or caregiver, the most important thing you can do …

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Interview on Child Trauma

December 19, 2012

CHDI’s Dr. Bob Franks discusses child trauma and new resources for parents with WTIC 1080 radio personality Bill Pearse. Click here.

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Child Traumatic Stress: CHDI’s Response to a Public Health Crisis-Issue Brief #13

May 7, 2012

This issue brief released by the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc., focuses on child traumatic stress as a public health issue as well as effective treatment and resources. To read the issue brief click on this link.

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List of Connecticut Providers Trained on Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

May 3, 2012

The following is a list of Connecticut providers who are trained in the evidence-based treatment called, Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). To go directly to the list, please click here.    

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Child Health and Development Institute Biennial Report

June 1, 2011

See the Child Health and Development Institute’s 2012-2013 biennial report by clicking here.  

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Visit our Evidence-Based Practice Directory has an evidence-based practice directory that lists mental health providers trained in popular evidence-based practices available in Connecticut for children and families with behavioral health needs. Evidence-based practices are those supported by research showing that they work for most children.