In this feature, EDC experts Kim Netter and Mary Mackrain talk about how mental health consultants can help strengthen programs, services, and systems to better support children's social and emotional growth, well-being, and school readiness and success. Kim Netter says: "Research suggests that an early onset of mental health issues is linked to environmental factors, such as poverty, exposure to violence, and physical or emotional neglect. However, prevention work can be done and supports can be put in place early on when a mental health consultant is in the mix promoting healthy development and growth, so children can thrive in school and in life." Mary Mackrain notes: "Early childhood mental health consultation teams mental health professionals with early childhood professionals to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children in child care and early education programs. The mental health consultant offers skilled observations, individualized strategies, and early identification of children with challenging behaviors that places them at risk for expulsion. The key is that services must be provided by mental health experts who have worked with children under age five."