Mental Health Association newsletter describes collaborations

The collaboration of 32 agencies and schools in the county has produced Strong Starts Chautauqua.

Chautauqua County has the fourth highest rate of child poverty in New York state. It contains less than one percent of the state’s population, yet accounts for 10% of state allegations of parental drug or alcohol misuse.

Maternal substance misuse during pregnancy can lead to learning disabilities and low IQ, hyperactivity, poor ability to communicate, and poor reasoning and judgment. Lifelong consequences can be issues with school and social skills, mental health, substance use, keeping a job, and trouble with the law.

Strong Starts Chautauqua, an initiative designed to help pregnant women and young children, has two goals:

¯ for all expectant women in Chautauqua County to have access to prenatal education, care, and community support to promote healthy birth outcomes and strong futures for their children, and

¯ for all children aged birth through five to have access to resources and timely, responsible care that help them achieve their full potential.