Support your child’s emotional wellbeing through stories

WELLREAD is an innovative new resource designed to help parents/caregivers support and nurture their child’s development by building up their resilience and help them to learn how to bounce back from the challenges they face today.

As our children are at home over this challenging time the team at WellRead understand that parents will be feeling frustrated and even overwhelmed with what they can do to help their child.  They would like to offer access to WellRead to parents.

WellRead is a chat bot activity designed to help parents boost their children’s emotional wellbeing with a combination of storytelling and targeted conversations. The WellRead website contains a specially chosen collection of short stories for you to read to your child. Each story is accompanied with a series of questions that you can ask to spark conversations with your child about a range of wellbeing topics. The stories and questions you will find in WellRead have been selected by teams of experts, which means you can relax and enjoy some quality time with your child, reassured that you’re also caring for their emotional well-being.  

WellRead features a carefully selected mix of international short stories, fairy tales and novel chapters. The stories will engage your child with their diverse and exciting plotlines, language and characters. There are both contemporary and classic ones, some of which you might remember from your own childhood. Many of the newer stories explore timely issues such as patchwork families, bullying, climate change and poverty. At the same time, in line with our emotional framework, all of the stories look into universal themes such as compassion, truth-telling, courage and hope.

The team at WellRead believe in helping to create a world where every child is empowered to take care of their emotional health and wellbeing and fulfill their potential. It’s free to join, simply create an account at www.mywellread.com  

During this challenging time we know emotional well-being is critical and the WellRead team feel this tool is a life line for parents whilst stuck indoors at the minute.  

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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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