Regional Initiatives

Project LAUNCH // Team Members // PL Manchester

Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) strives to promote positive behavioral health for NH’s expectant families and children through age 8. Our focus is on building strong social and emotional skills for children in addition to physical and cognitive development.

Since 2008, state and tribal programs across the country have been supported by SAMHSA to promote the health and well-being of young children from birth to age 8 by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of their development.

By using a public health approach, Project LAUNCH is improving outcomes at the individual, family and community levels by focusing on 5 core prevention and promotion strategies:

  • Screening and assessment
  • Integration of behavioral health into primary settings
  • Mental health consultation in early care and education
  • Enhanced home visiting through increased focus on social and emotional wellbeing
  • Family strengthening and parent skills training.

Guided by these 5 strategies, Project LAUNCH utilizes a local-level young child wellness council and a state-level young child wellness council, both consisting of key early learning and development, health, and family support stakeholders, to develop and implement plans to improve outcomes for young children and families.

Project LAUNCH in Manchester also coordinates the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team (ACERT) in collaboration with the Manchester Police Department and YWCA NH to provide trauma-informed responses and referral to supports and services when children are exposed to violence and other traumatic events.

The City of Manchester serves as the local implementation site for Project LAUNCH NH. Manchester is NH's most densely populated city or town, with 3,310 persons per square mile and a total population of 109,565. The city is becoming more racially diverse and is now home to over 2,085 refugees, resulting in a unique set of challenges to the community. For example, 6.25% of children in the Manchester school system have limited English proficiency and families with school age children reportedly speak over 60 languages. Given these unique circumstances, Project LAUNCH NH is using Manchester as a model to enhance provider collaboration, service coordination, and family strengthening, with the hopes of being able to replicate this public health approach in other NH communities.


Project LAUNCH NH promotes collaborative services among and provides access to high quality prevention and wellness programs for Manchester area low-income families and their children 0-8 years old in order to improve developmental outcomes. The work of the local Manchester pilot informs the development of a state-wide comprehensive, coordinated, sustainable early childhood system that achieves positive outcomes for young children and families.


Children flourish and enter school healthy, ready to learn, and able to succeed.

Strategic Plan Goals:

  1. Increase the number and type of settings providing valid screening and assessment to serve more children.
  2. Utilize best practices to identify primary care patients (parents and children) with behavioral health issues and to integrate successful interventions into practice.
  3. Increase staff capacity to support children’s social-emotional development in early childhood education settings.
  4. Build local home visiting infrastructure for shared learning and improved practice among home visitors.
  5. Strengthen families and improve their training, education and support.
  6. Improve access to needed services for Project LAUNCH children and families through increased transportation availability, awareness of culturally and linguistically competent services, and increased referrals to child and family serving agencies.
  7. Establish a sustainable local infrastructure in Manchester to work collaboratively with Spark NH to promote the wellness of expectant families and young children from birth to eight years.


SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Click here for more information about SAMHSA.

Click here for more information about Project LAUNCH and the National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention.

The preparation of this website was financed under a contract with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, with funds provided under grant number 1H79SM061289 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS