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
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