The Futures Institute

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Training Program

Published by rose s on

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Training Program

The MCH Nutrition Training Program, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides public, state-controlled, and private higher education institutions with the opportunity to improve the nutritional health of mothers and children in MCH populations and improve employment opportunities for individuals who want to provide MCH Nutrition training. The $1,825,000 grant, with a $225,000 award ceiling, aims to promote the healthy nutrition of mothers, children, and families by establishing nutrition centers of excellence that provide interdisciplinary graduate-level training in MCH nutrition to future and current MCH nutrition professionals; and collaborate with Title V and other MCH programs to provide continuing education and technical assistance to local, state, and national organizations serving MCH populations. The deadline for this grant has passed but it has been repeated previously. 

Evidence on Investments in Health and Treatment

To implement community safety-focused programs, jurisdictions must have an adequate supply of peers and professionals who can provide voluntary, non-coercive services that support physical and mental health—and allow appropriate staffing for non-carceral crisis response and similar programs. Expanding access to basic health care has been found to reduce crime, as well as save money on legal system expenses. Research demonstrates that when the number of treatment facilities for substance use disorder increases, crime decreases in the same area. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and psychiatric treatment in particular, has been found to reduce violent crime. 

This effect is especially powerful when looking at youth. Increasing wraparound services in schools that treat physical and mental health in high risk areas have been shown to reduce juvenile arrests as well as child abuse cases. High quality afterschool programs that promote students’ health and development can reduce drug use and decrease arrests and other forms of criminal-legal involvement among children. Furthermore, early childhood intervention programs, as well as nutrition programs for newborns, are likely to reduce crime. Expanded access to mental health treatment, and to psychiatric treatment in particular, has also been found to reduce violent crime. 

Community safety cannot succeed without a robust, well-trained workforce of mental health and treatment professionals—not only because these services can reduce violence and harm, but also because physical and mental health are vitally important for safety itself. For too long, this country has taken a punishment and enforcement approach to how we address mental health, substance use, and related issues; the following investments, paired with further public health-centered policy changes, are a first step toward changing this paradigm.