Help from home: New youth anxiety program removes barriers
Strongest Families program helped more than 100 families in 1st year
Health officials on P.E.I. are touting the success of a new program for helping children suffering from behavioural and anxiety problems.
Strongest Families was introduced on the Island last October, and has since been accessed by 130 families.
"The program is designed to remove barriers to care. So, immediate access. No wait," said Patricia Lingley-Pottie, president and CEO of the Strongest Families Institute in Nova Scotia.
The program is also set up to help families in their own homes. Resources are online or can be provided in printed form. The families have a weekly telephone appointment that can be scheduled when the parents are available, even late at night if needed.
Whole families feeling the benefits
While the program is aimed at helping children, parents are also finding help in the program for themselves.
"We've had feedback from parents indicating, you know, I suffered from anxiety myself," said Janice Smith, supervisor of youth and children's clinical services with Health PEI.
"In helping my children and learning the skills that my children were learning, that helped me."
Strongest Families reports an 89 per cent success rate, with side benefits of better performance and schools and generally more confident children.
P.E.I. families can access the program through their primary health care provider or community mental health services.
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With files from Island Morning