Meitheal – working with children, young people and their families to encourage strengths and identify needs

Do you want some help with school, home, friends, worries, loneliness, family? Maybe a Meitheal could help.

Meitheal is an old Irish word that describes how neighbours come together to support each other in times of need. Our Meitheal can support you and your family to get the help you need.

Here is a video made by other young adults which will help you understand what a Meitheal is and how it works. Just click the link:-

https://youtu.be/wp89nsR5jcE

Meitheal is a way of working with you and your family to encourage your strengths and to identify your needs.

Meitheal brings together people and services that can help you to make the changes you want in your life. The kinds of services that might be involved in Meitheal are schools, youth services, family resource centres and medical services.

If you are facing challenges that are difficult to overcome and you need someone in your corner, Meitheal could help.

Here are some of the challenges that Meitheal could help you with:

  • Problems at school
  • Feeling down
  • Not getting on with your parents
  • Problems at home
  • Loneliness
  • Worrying a lot

Maybe you are already getting support from different services but finding it hard to deal with all of them at once. Meitheal brings everyone together. It’s a bit like having a whole team looking out for you.

How does Meitheal work?
  • You will work with a supportive person called a lead practitioner. This may be a youth worker, counsellor or teacher. The important thing is this is someone you trust and are happy to work with.
  • Your lead practitioner will help you think about your strengths and needs
  • The next step is your lead practitioner will arrange a Meitheal support meetingfor you and your parents or guardians where they will  help to put a plan in place for you. This may include a youth worker, a youth club leader or teacher
  • The Meitheal team will help you follow the plan and make the changes you want in life, thought regular meetings for as long as you need it
  • You and your family will decide how long you want this support for
It is very important that you and your family understand every part of the plan.

What have young people said about Meitheal?

I had a say about what was happening for me, all the people who worked with me, coming together for me, was good

Meitheal changed how I thought of myself, who I thought I could be in life and just gave me a goal

If you think Meitheal could help you contact your local office here in Donegal on 074 9123783

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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