‘Minding me’ morning by ParentStop in Donegal Town

ParentStop CLG is a charity working across County Donegal that offers one-to-one and group supports to parents and all those who are in parenting roles. At ParentStop, we promote positive parenting and the need for minding yourself. Across our services, we celebrate and highlight the very important role that parents play in society and the valuable work parents do. Being a parent is very rewarding but can be challenging – ‘children don’t come with a handbook’ and it is ok and often necessary to ask for help. ParentStop is here to help.

As well as offering positive parenting group sessions, one to one parenting plans, parenting when separated group supports we also take time out to offer a chance to relax. Throughout the year whether it is before the mania starts at Christmas or UN Global Parent’s Day or National Parents Week or just an ordinary weekday ParentStop invites parents to take some time out and come along to our ‘Minding Me’ pampering days. Local therapists offering treatments such as shiatsu, reflexology, beauty, and lifestyle treatments, relaxation techniques, etc. donate their time, local businesses donate samples and gifts, and you have a chance to have a cuppa and a chat with other parents, the team at ParentStop, and our partners within the Parent Hub Donegal.

Our most recent day happened November 28th in Donegal FRC organised by Julie Voss of ParentStop in South Donegal and was a huge success for the parents, grandparents, children, and services who attended. Thank you to all who gave their time to help parents to focus on ‘minding me’.

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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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