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Project director named to oversee mental health screenings for young children, pregnant women, new mothers

NEWTON, Kan. (March 25, 2015) – Prairie View, Inc., has appointed LeeAnne Mullen project coordinator to oversee administration of the recent grant it received from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The $150,400 grant supports mental health screenings over two years for young children, pregnant women and new mothers in Harvey, Marion and McPherson counties in South Central Kansas.

LeeAnne Mullen

“Our new project coordinator brings numerous gifts and skills to this new position,” says Elizabeth Guhman, Ph.D., vice president of Child and Adolescent Services at Prairie View. “LeeAnne has many years of experience working with families and children with social and emotional issues.”

Mullen holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Wichita State University. She has worked at Prairie View in Newton since 1999, most recently in Youth and Family Services. In addition to her new role, she is assistant director for community-based services and coordinator for the severely emotionally disturbed waiver. She has also worked in Prairie View’s Adventure and Recreation program and at the Special Purpose School.

As project coordinator she expects to implement and coordinate the use of standard screening tools for all children and expectant mothers in the three counties. Included will be building a team of professionals who recognize the impact of mental health on an individual’s life.

“Early detection is key to quality and life change interventions,” Mullen says. “I have a great interest in helping families identify these problems earlier and leading them down paths so they can receive the support they need to help their child be successful. I enjoy the challenge of learning new ideas and meeting individuals that we can partner with to positively impact not only families, but community.”

Some of the work will be training staff at county health departments and primary care clinics in administering to parents/caregivers a standardized questionnaire on social emotional development for children up to age six. The questionnaire is already in use in Head Start and other organizations in the three-county area.

Because nearly 80 percent of new mothers in the United States experience some form of baby blues and as many as 14.5 percent suffer from major depression, important screenings for depression among young mothers will be extended to include pregnant women. These screenings will be offered at sites where these women access prenatal care and refer them as appropriate for follow-up services.

For information, phone Prairie View at 800-992-6292 or see