Parent Support Evening for Bereaved Parents

Anam Cara, the organisation which offers information and support to all bereaved parents, will be facilitating a Parent Support Evening on Thursday 13th June from 7:20pm in the Raddison Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal.

This event offers parents a safe and comfortable forum where they can connect with other bereaved parents who understand the depth of grief and loss that follows after the death of their precious son or daughter. With Father’s Day approaching at the end of the month it can often be a particularly difficult milestone for a bereaved Dad and it’s important that Anam Cara Support Services and resources are available.    

Anam Cara CEO Sharon Vard stressed that this event is open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age of the child or children, the circumstances of their death, or whether this was recent or not.

For those considering attending but unsure, Ms Vard suggests they visit the website, anamcara.ie. “There, in their own time, parents can watch our short videos with testimonies from bereaved parents and couples who have attended Anam Cara events. The videos, which are just four minutes each, show parents interviewed on topics like A Dad’s Grief, Sudden and Traumatic Death, and The Grieving Family 

One Dad attending the Donegal group commented that “It was a relief to share and listen to others, it made me feel less alone in my grief”

All Anam Cara services are offered free of charge for as long as necessary.

Please note Anam Cara will take their summer break in July and August. Events will resume in September. 

For more information see www.anamcara.ie or ring the Information Line on 085 2888 888. 

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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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