Triple P is giving Kiwi whānau free access to practical and easy-to-use resources for building children’s emotional resilience throughout the pandemic and beyond, thanks to funding from the Ministry of Health and support from Whāraurau as part of the COVID-19 response. Included in the options is the latest Fear-Less Triple P Online - a programme specifically designed to help children and young people get on top of anxiety.
Triple P Lead in Aotearoa, Jackie Riach, welcomed the funding and said that Kiwi mums and dads who are concerned about their children, now have easily accessible parenting guidance that they can use on the go or at home to support their children’s mental health and wellbeing.
“The Triple P suite of online programmes – Triple P Online, Teen Triple P Online, and Fear-Less Triple P Online - provide expert advice and strategies for parents and carers,” Ms Riach said.
“Now more than ever, parents, carers, children, and young people, are living with increased levels of anxiety and stress due to the pandemic, with 2020/2021 data revealing that almost six per cent of Kiwi children aged 2 to 14 years, experienced emotional or behavioural problems, including diagnosed depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD.
“Outbreaks of the virus and the ongoing restrictions have been stressful for many families with worries about money, work and mental health – we want to support caregivers and children to manage this in the long term,” she said.
Co-author of the Fear-Less Triple P programme and Professor at The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology, Dr Vanessa Cobham, said caregivers play an important role in helping their children to build resilience and cope better.
“Fear-Less Triple P Online will help parents and carers to set a good example of coping with anxiety; support their children to develop effective anxiety management tools and generally become more emotionally resilient; and know how to best guide their children when they are anxious,” Dr Cobham said.
Whāraurau Project Manager, Rochelle Cave, said parents are giving very positive feedback about the changes they’ve been able to make with their whānau after trying out the Triple P strategies, with feedback from lots of parents saying online access has been a lifesaver for them.
“Being able to access the programme online has made it much more flexible for parents in lockdown and made it possible to bring support to parents in more remote places or for those experiencing difficulty making it to a group,” Ms Cave said.
“Additionally, those organisations supporting whānau are excited about being so easily being able to link whānau with the Triple P programmes,” she said.
The Ministry of Health's Manager of Primary and Community Wellbeing, Jo Chiplin, says the free online programmes will provide parents and whānau with the tools and confidence they need to support their children’s wellbeing in these times of uncertainty. The skills that children learn through this programme will be of benefit now and later in life.
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 Ministry of Health. 2021. Annual Data Explorer 2020/21: New Zealand Health Survey [Data File]. Published online December 1, 2021. https://minhealthnz.shinyapps.io/nz-health-survey-2020-21-annual-data-explorer/