Mental Health

NEW: “988” is a three-digit phone number available for suicide prevention & mental health emergency across the United States.

Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child’s well-being. Scientific research has shown that a child’s early experiences—whether good or bad —affect the development of children’s brains and their life-long health. Even very young children can experience childhood trauma or mental health issues and it is better to identify and address any issues early. Children should also be taught how to understand and manage their emotions through a process called social and emotional learning.

ZERO TO THREE defines infant and early childhood mental health as “the developing capacity of a child from birth to five years old to form close and secure adult and peer relationships; experience, manage, and express a full range of emotions; and explore the environment and learn—all in the context of family, community, and culture. Through relationships with parents and other caregivers, infants and toddlers learn what people expect of them and what they can expect of other people. Nurturing, protective, stable, and consistent relationships are essential to young children’s mental health.” (ZERO TO THREE Infant Mental Health Task Force Steering Committee, 2001).

Here are some resources to help with mental health issues. Additional local mental health professionals, support groups and related services can be found in the Resource Directory section of our website.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: This national mental health helpline is a network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.

Urgent Crisis Centers: Licensed and funded by DCF, the centers function as walk-in clinics, providing youths and their families with immediate access to resources while they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, such as thoughts of suicide or self-injury, feelings of depression or anxiety, out-of-control behaviors; substance misuse, etc.

The Southington Behavioral Health Resource Directory is a comprehensive guide to behavioral health and community resources including outpatient and inpatient care for children, adolescents, and adults, as well as details about confidential assessments, short and long-term counseling, psychotherapy, family therapy, and mental health treatment. The directory also includes information about accessing transportation and food as well as new information regarding drug collection drop boxes, treatment for opioid misuse, health services, and advocacy.

Talk It Out CT: For parents and caregivers who need someone to listen, to understand, and to talk your feelings out. Talk It Out Line 1-833-258-5011

Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP) is a state-funded program and is provided at no cost to parents and early childcare centers. The ECCP offers a variety of in-person and telephonic consultation services to parents and early childhood educators to promote children’s social and emotional development for children birth to age five.
Phone: (860) 704-6378
Web Site:

Mobile Crisis Intervention Services serves children and adolescents experiencing a mental health crisis. Trained mental health professionals from across the state can respond immediately, face-to-face or by phone, to help manage the child’s behavioral or emotional crisis. This could include a child threatening to harm themselves or others and uncontrolled anger or aggression. Note that even preschool children can benefit from these services.
In Connecticut, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) provides these crisis services for children and youth through the Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service (EMPS).
Phone: Call 2-1-1, then pick 1 for crisis and 1 for mobile crisis
Web Site:

Kids Mental Health by the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. provides information and resources plus guidance in determining if your child needs help and how to find it.