The Mellow Parenting programme, aimed at parents of children under four years old is proving a great success for those who may need some additional support in the Lurgan area.
Almost 200 families from across the Southern Trust area have benefitted from the 14 week programme which helps to build more positive parent - child relationships and improve the wellbeing of mothers and children.
Funded by the Public Health Agency, Mellow Parenting is co-ordinated through the Trust’s Promoting Wellbeing Team and is delivered by facilitators from a range of disciplines including, Health Visiting, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Parenting Partnership and Family Intervention.
An evaluation of the programme by Ulster University has found that the wellbeing of mothers increased following participation with a lasting impact of 12 months. Iain McGowan Researcher said: “The results of this evaluation clearly show that Mellow Parenting is not only effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety in a group of mothers.
“Participants also found the programme useful in developing parenting skills and developing or rekindling social skills.
“What is striking is that these benefits continued for the participants up to one year after the programme ended. The programme seems to have made a huge difference to the lives of the mothers taking part and their families.”
Welcoming the evaluation, Paul Morgan Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust said: “We want to help families to ensure the very best start in life for their children. Mellow Parenting is a great example of how addressing relationship issues at a very early stage, can prevent them escalating into more serious problems for families and children in the longer term.”
One mother who participated on the programme said: “I’m not just a Mummy – I can do things again. I feel like my old self is coming back again - I can have an adult conversation with another adult.”
If you feel you would benefit from extra parenting support, please speak to your Health Visitor/Parent support worker or contact Deirdre McParland Tel: 028 3741 2884 for more information.