Helping Parents Better Support Children

Filed in Recent News by August 9, 2019

By Taylah Fellows

PARENTS now have the chance to learn how to better identify, support and manage the mental wellbeing of their children, through free online and face-to-face education courses. 

Lea Waters, Professor of Positive Psychology at the University of Victoria will be in Scone on Monday to launch the ‘Strength Switch Parenting Course’ with the Where There’s A Will foundation.

The strength switch parenting course is the third stage of the visible wellbeing initiative and teaches parents how to help their kids and teenagers build their mental health at home by identifying and using their character strengths.

“I’m working with WTAW and providing every family in the Upper Hunter with my online strength switch parenting course for free so they can do it at home with their kids,” said Prof Waters.

“Because online isn’t everyone’s thing, we also have provided the parental switch course to licensed facilitators in the Upper Hunter region who are trained teachers that can offer the course face-to-face for parents over the next year,” she said. 

“The third piece of the puzzle is parents, its all about bringing good mental health practices to young kids in the region,” said Prof Waters.

“By simply addressing depression and anxiety, all we’ve done is get rid of the bad, we haven’t grown good, because we haven’t built up strength assets, relationships and knowledge across the community,” she said.

Professor Waters partnered with Where There’s A Will (WTAW) in February 2018 and has since delivered two out of three stages to her visible well-being curriculum, building up mental health in the Upper Hunter region. 

“The thing about mental health is that we can’t just leave it to chance,” said Prof Waters.

“There are particular practices and skills that we can teach kids a young age which helps to support and build up their mental health but also help them to identify when they are not doing so well and to reach out and seek help more quickly,” she said.

So far stage one and two of the initiative involved training teachers in all state, catholic and independent schools in the Upper Hunter education system. 

“By working with schools and early learning centre were working with the teachers who bring those mental health practices and visible well-being practices into the classroom, now we’re at the stage to deliver this at home as well,” said Prof Waters.

“The partnership has accessed kids of all ages and WTAW have touched on sport, mental health first aid training, visible well-being and now the switch course for parents,” she said.

“When you build up those assets, you create a sustained long-term effect,” said Prof Waters.

The Professor said she is proud to be partnered with WTAW and is inspired by the people in the upper hunter who ‘have made lemonade out of lemons’. 

“The ultimate goal is to spread it around now,” said Prof Waters

“At the beginning, it was just about the community and that’s still very much the case but I think they’ve [WTAW] realise that they’ve created something that can be transferred to other communities,” she said.

 

  • When: Monday, August 13th at 7pm
  • Where: Scone RSL Club, 71 Gurnsey St, Scone NSW

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