Programme for parents to ensure mental wellness of children

PHOTO: Programme for parents to ensure mental wellness of children

SINGAPORE - The Health Promotion Board (HPB ) has launched a mental wellness initiative at Nee Soon East Community Club (CC) aimed at helping parents nurture the mental well-being of their children.

Called 'Healthy Mind, Healthy Community', it uses platforms like a talk show and parent support network to equip parents with mental health knowledge and skills.

The Cyber Wellness Programme, for an example, helps parents understand why their children spend hours chatting and gaming online, or wear outlandish costumes and accessories in the name of cosplay.

Aimed at helping parents recognise the subtle signs of harmful online behaviour as well as create a healthy cyber culture at home, the four-part programme starts with a half-hour talk show, during which youths have frank and open discussions with parents on the subject.

The programme also offers parents a support network to turn to, through parent health advocates trained by HPB to equip other parents with parenting skills on nurturing mental well-being.

A resource kit will also be provided for parents to teach children about stress management and coping mechanisms using games and activities.

It also teaches parents how to build their children's self-esteem and be a positive role model.

Lastly, a 45-minute theatre production will be used to generate discussion on ways to handle stress as a family, cope with life's challenges and enhance relationships.

Unlike a traditional play, the audience here is invited to suggest different solutions to the story, which the cast will enact.

The push to empower parents is in response to research identifying parental responsiveness and strong parent-child relationships as two determining factors of effective parental care, which is crucial to a child's overall healthy development, HPB said.

HPB is also bringing the Youth Mental Health Ambassador Programme to Nee Soon East CC, where youths will plan and facilitate peer-led projects such as road shows and exhibitions related to mental well-being.

Nee Soon East residents will also soon see a Wellness on Wheels (WoW) Programme, where national cyclists from the Singapore Cycling Federation engage youths on the three 'C's - Commitment, Confidence and Courage.

This programme provides practical tips on building mental resilience through sports.

HPB said that it plans to introduce the 'Healthy Mind, Healthy Community' programme to 25 constituencies and reach out to 30,000 parents and youths by 2015.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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