The government of British Columbia (BC) is to provide C$1.49 million in new funding to the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHABC) to support ‘Confident Parents: Thriving Kids’ (CPTK), a program that helps parents address behavioural problems in children aged three to 12
CPTK is offered free to BC families and is customised to fit their individual needs. It is delivered by telephone during the day, as well as evenings and weekends, and includes six-, 10- and 14-week modules.
More than 1,000 BC families accessed the program last year, with encouraging results. Four out of five parent participants said they have seen an improvement in their child’s behaviour, including increased cooperation, understanding and positive interaction with family, friends and teachers. Parents also reported increased confidence in their own response to behavioural issues, as well as happier, healthier family interactions.
With the help of the provincial government, CMHA has been delivering positive parent training for families since 2011. CPTK will use the new funding to extend its reach throughout British Columbia and ensure continued early access for families. Parents can request a referral to CPTK through their family physician or nurse practitioner.
Bev Gutray, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said:
We all know that the experiences we have in childhood profoundly affect our adult lives. Left untreated, mild to moderate behaviour problems in childhood can become worse, with serious implications for adulthood. This investment by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Health is an excellent example of a renewed focus on preventing mental ill-health and early intervention. If we can reach families before problems get worse, we can help improve life chances for BC kids today.
Dr Jason Feniak, a paediatrician in the south-east city of Cranbrook, said:
This program has had a very positive impact on the children and families that have completed it. Parents who have come in physically, mentally and emotionally drained have told me they enjoy being parents again after completing the program. I am very thankful for this program. It is one of the main tools in my toolbox when I am referred children with problem behaviours. Rather than “fixing” the child, this program enables parents to guide their children to better behaviour.