New research from University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado finds that participating in HealthySteps averted future mental health costs for mothers and their children. What is more, the savings in terms of future mental health care is greater than the cost of administering the program. Simply put, the research suggests that investing in HealthySteps today, prevents larger mental health costs in the future.
Economic estimates vary but in terms of cost averted the program cost of $575 per child likely averted between $641 and $959 in future costs.
Read the full research article here
In Colorado HealthySteps is supported by Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) which serves as the state program office.
Sometimes, parenthood is scary
Already a mother of two, Sara experienced complications during her pregnancy with her daughter, Emilee, that led to an early delivery. Her daughter’s lungs were underdeveloped, and she was put on oxygen to help her breathe.
Although Sara was an experienced mom, she hadn’t raised a newborn in several years, and she’d never cared for a medically fragile baby.
“I was afraid,” she remembers.
Thankfully, Sara’s family receives care through the Westside Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic in Denver. Her pediatrician asked if she’d like to enroll in their HealthySteps program, and Sara said yes.
HealthySteps is a unique early childhood program that places a childhood development specialist within a pediatric primary care team. Working together, the doctor and HealthySteps specialist provide integrated care and support parents through the challenging first three years of a child’s life. HealthySteps specialists also connect families to other community resources as needed.
Sara credits her HealthySteps specialist with coaching her through the first anxious months of her daughter’s life and helping her access groceries, clothing and furniture after she moved out of an unhealthy living situation. Today, Sara and her family are thriving, and, at 11 months, Emilee is off oxygen and learning to speak and walk.
“I don’t have the words to explain how grateful I am,” Sara says of HealthySteps. “Just knowing there’s someone there to support you with what you’re going through. It’s life changing.”