Mental health is at the forefront of everyones mind at the moment. Questions that are circling around include; ‘are we taking enough time for self care?’ and ‘are we spending quality time with people that can pick us up when we’re feeling down?’
These questions can be hard to answer when you’re a parent. Whether you’re a young parent full of adventure and travel plans, or a parent that is just plodding along, you still need to take care of your own mental health.
The Cellar Trust, a mental health charity based in Bradford, supported by Brathay Trust, a UK-wide young people’s and family charity run the online platform PARENTS Online. Launches 5-nights per week from Monday 4th October.
PARENTS Online is a platform where parents and carers can reach out via a text-based confidential chat online to receive emotional support from a trained support worker. The support worker will listen to any problems, issues or anxieties about whatever the parent or carer may be facing.
2021 has brought many new challenges for parents and carers, not just from the pandemic and homeschooling, but also with job losses, illnesses, loss of earnings, and mental health worries. PARENTS Online is available Monday – Friday between 6pm – 9pm because sometimes all a parent or carer needs is to be listened too.
The team from PARENTS Online will provide a confidential listening service, which can be used anonymously. Everyone on the chat will receive support from a fully trained worker, by using personal experience of parenting. It will be a safe space to talk openly without judgement, about anything.
Initially this platform was for 2-days per week, but it is now 5-days per week after funding was granted from the Morrisons Foundation.
The Cellar Trust supported by Brathay Trust, together with Andy’s Man Club are also including a special Dad’s themed evening on Thursdays. A safe and secure place where visitors to Andy’s Man Club can utilise PARENTS Online to discuss their worries of being a parent or carer.
PARENTS Online are aiming to help 455 families across the UK within the first year.
David Grant-Roberts, Lead Peer Support at The Cellar Trust, says;“During Covid, the Covid Scientific Advisory Group in Bradford highlighted the high proportion of parents who were struggling with their mental health due to the challenges of parenting. Pre-Covid, the Bradford Children and Young People’s Mental Health review highlighted that support for parents was a real gap in provision leading to the bigger picture of poor child mental health. Sadly this is only worsening as a result of the pandemic.
PARENTS Online can be used anonymously, accessed from anywhere and provides the option of accessing text-based support to allow busy parents/carers to seek support discreetly whilst juggling the demands of a busy household. We provide a much-needed outlet for parents/carers and provide the option of speaking to someone who truly understands. As a consequence we can significantly help with the mental health of parents using this service and in turn positively impact the mental health of their children”.