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Family Mental Health

In  2012, FRP Canada with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asked members across Canada about work being done in promoting family mental health  and about gaps in relation to mental health promotion (training and resources) in programs and staff training. Over 400 respondents provided a wealth of information.

Here are a few examples of what the survey respondents had to say:

  • “Family resource centers are an under-utilized service in regard to child and family mental health. Mental Health counselors (hopefully hired by the FRC) should be available to support all initiatives, and staff of the FRC's should have basic training in mental health since families have access to these programs and already see them in a non-threatening and supportive way.”

  • “I believe that I have some special insight in this area. I am not only an employee of a Family Resource Centre but also a parent of an individual diagnosed quite young with a mental illness. The support for these individuals, siblings and parents has a pivotal impact on the wellbeing and health of the family. Having a child with a mental illness can isolate the family from society and from extended family who may be quite judgmental and also ignorant of the facts. It is a very lonely existence. Thank you for continuing to build supports. It will make a difference. “

  • “This is such a significant issue in the lives of ALL families today and is a growing area of concern for families living with a greater number of challenges/barriers than the average family. We need to get very creative with how families are supported to address the board spectrum of issues that affect family mental health.”

  • “Interactive programming is one aspect of the program offered for parents to experience and understand the importance of attachment. This allows for parents to be confident as well as to have continual development in this area. Community programs break down the barrier of isolation and develop peer connections, which in turn promotes healthy well being.”

  • “A statistic: Out of 46 new families into our Healthy Families Home Visitation program in the past year, 26 mothers had issues of mental illness and or depression. This is just one of the 'risk factors' that screen families into our program, and over the past years this factor is becoming increasingly present.”

  • “Child and family mental health is a vital component when it comes to planning and implementing our programs. Although we are not able to provide workshops, something as simple as sharing a cup of coffee or children playing with other children has such a positive effect on mental health. “

  • “I believe it is important to note that child and family mental health has been a focus indirectly of ours for years as we are here to provide services and support families any way we can. It has only been recently that the term ’mental health‘ has moved to the forefront so when we do our next strategic planning we will be including the term. “

  • “The services/supports for those coping with mental health issues are sporadic and not always fully considered in developing programs. More emphasis on the importance of "good" mental health is needed - like what we see now with the focus on healthy eating choices. In this province there are not enough health care professionals and waitlists for services is two years for some individuals. More dialogue is needed between mental health service providers and community support groups/organizations to further prevention-based programming.”

For more information please contact Christine Colbert at ccolbert@frp.ca.

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