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Winnipeg Free Press - - OUR VIEW | YOUR SAY -

Re: Ris­ing stars, shin­ing bright (May 8) and Pro­gram helps reunite fam­i­lies with kids (May 9)

The Free Press re­cently car­ried two en­cour­ag­ing and exciting sto­ries. In a May 8 story, we were im­pressed by the large num­ber of in­dige­nous grad­u­ates from the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba. Con­grat­u­la­tions to ev­ery one of you as you grad­u­ate and move on into your cho­sen field.

Re­gard­ing the Sag­keeng fos­ter care project, it is in­fin­itely bet­ter for ev­ery­one when kids and fam­i­lies can be to­gether. This pro­gram, with its solid ex­pec­ta­tions, has made im­pres­sive progress. All the best to the fam­i­lies who have par­tic­i­pated in the pi­lot project “Cir­cle of Care.”

Be proud. Be strong. Help one another.

RANDY AND PAT NEU­MAN

Mor­den

Re: Bring­ing the right tools to bear (May 10)

On be­half of par­ents ev­ery­where, I would like to thank the psy­chol­o­gists who de­vel­oped the “Worry Bear” tent at the Teddy Bears’ Pic­nic. This sim­ple con­cept val­i­dates the par­ents’ con­cerns and pro­vides a safe place for the chil­dren to share their feel­ings.

As di­rec­tor of the Fam­ily Nav­i­ga­tion Pro­gram at the Mood Dis­or­ders As­so­ci­a­tion of Man­i­toba, I hear from hun­dreds of par­ents, chil­dren and ed­u­ca­tors re­gard­ing the need for ex­panded ser­vices and ex­pe­di­ent ac­cess to those ser­vices. The sto­ries are haunt­ingly sim­i­lar, and the con­cerns are heart­break­ing. Dr. Rehman Ab­dul­rehman and the team of psy­chol­o­gists par­tic­i­pat­ing in this event are em­pha­siz­ing the need to rec­og­nize the symp­toms our chil­dren are hav­ing in the early years, to give both the child and par­ent the tools to cope and thus live a qual­ity life.

Try­ing to deal with anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion as a teen is a rocky, frus­trat­ing road, of­ten lead­ing to many years of strug­gle, but by ad­dress­ing the is­sues in early child­hood with pa­tient-cen­tred re­cov­ery pro­grams, the out­come can lead to a much bet­ter life for all mem­bers of the fam­ily.

Imag­ine if we could have the “Worry Bear” or the “What if?” clinic as an open ser­vice, with min­i­mal costs, pro­vid­ing cog­ni­tive tools and safe places to share? We would change the face of our next gen­er­a­tion and re­duce the im­pend­ing bil­lions of dol­lars spent on men­tal health.

Thank you also to Carol Sanders for writ­ing an il­lu­mi­nat­ing ar­ti­cle.

BON­NIE BRICKER Di­rec­tor of Fam­ily Nav­i­ga­tion, MDAM

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