Program Helps Parents and Caregivers Manage Teen Mental Health
By Shanna Braden, Clinician
On Friday, January 22nd, Lutherwood Program Manager Aaron Stauch and I (and my daughter Pippa) stood at centre ice and accepted a $20,000 cheque from Bell’s Lena Demarco before the start of the Kitchener Rangers game.
The funds, from Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, will support Lutherwood’s new Connect Parent Program, an evidence-based 10-week group for parents and alternate caregivers of pre-teens and teens who struggle with significant behaviour problems and mental health issues. Co-developed over the last 10 years by the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre and Dr. Marlene Moretti of Simon Fraser University, the program focuses on the core components of secure attachment to promote children’s social, emotional and behavioural adjustment.
Rather than teach the basics of parenting, Connect helps parents and caregivers understand basic attachment concepts which can be applied across a broad range of situations. A strength-based approach to supporting families, Connect helps caregivers respond to their teens in a way that strengthens their relationship while setting limits and promoting their healthy development.
“We have seen the effectiveness of this program in other communities and our own recent trial,” said Aaron Stauch, Program Manager at Lutherwood. “We are very grateful to Bell as their grant supports one-time startup costs, such as training the trainers and hiring staff, which will enable us to serve up to 75 parents and children in its first year.”
A Front Door program, the Connect Parent Group will add to the community’s capacity to help parents and alternate caregivers establish positive relationship with their teens who have serious mental health concerns, and access appropriate community supports.