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Parents Mental Health Day: Creating Positive Relationships

26 Jan 24

Saturday 27 January is Parents Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is about creating positive relationships.

A young person’s family provides the most influential connections in their lives. For parents, this can be the most fulfilling yet challenging life stage. The formation of positive and understanding relationships between young people and their primary caregivers can effectively support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both. By recognising Parents Mental Health Day on 27th January, we are raising the profile of this core relationship, and providing some sources of support to help parents along the way.

How children and young people see their parents and carers build relationships with family, friends and online are all influential in how they thrive and in turn develop relationships themselves.

Healthy relationships are based on social connections with family, friends and the local community which can help you to feel happy, physically healthier and improve your wellbeing. They also help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is also the quality of these relationships that are important. For example, we can have people in our lives we consider as friends but there are also those friends who we know we can turn to in a crisis or call on in our time of need.

There are different strategies that parents and carers can adopt to create positive relationships with others and themselves.

  • Make time for regular check ins with friends and family to maintain those relationships and strengthen the bonds
  • Try to recognise and regulate your own emotions and re-frame any unhelpful thoughts using positive self-talk
  • Set boundaries and respect other people’s boundaries
  • Don’t be judgemental
  • In challenging situations, take time out if needed and talk things through when the situation is more calm

Despite our best efforts, there are times when parents and carers need that extra support and there are organisations who are available to help:

Listening Circles: The Impact of Our Services | Parenting Mental Health
Join a trained Listening Circle facilitator in a  small group of up to 6 people, for 6 weeks for 2 hours per session. You can share whatever you choose, be heard, listen, offer and receive support, and form connections in a small, safe and judgment free space.

Chat and Connect: Parent Support for Children's Mental Health
Chat and Connect is a weekly informal online drop in session where you can come and talk to other parents, bring your worries, bring your questions, share your tips and wins and connect with others, with people who get what you're going through.

Angels Support Group: https://angelssupportgroup.org.uk/
A charity run by parents of children with autism and/or ADHD who work with and support other parents.

Carers in Herts: https://www.carersinherts.org.uk/
Carers in Herts are a charity who provide advice, information and support to unpaid carers. They offer free support to carers of all ages who live, work or care in Hertfordshire by giving them a voice, as well as opportunities to meet with other carers and share experiences.

Families in Focus: Families in Focus – Looking forward together
Offers parent network support meetings at different locations across Hertfordshire, professional training workshops and a Facebook page for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, including Autism, ADHD and PDA and related conditions. 

SPACE Herts: https://spaceherts.org.uk/
Welcome to SPACE. SPACE is a Hertfordshire charity supporting parent/ carers of children and young people on the autistic spectrum, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or a related condition.


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