Australian parents will soon have access to new tools to better support the mental health and wellbeing of their kids, as part of a $40.6 million Australian Government funded Parenting Education and Support grant.
Well-known positive parenting educator, Triple P, will deliver this support through their Triple P – Positive Parenting Program which provides free, universal, easily accessible and interactive online resources.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the program will be available nationally and address different parenting needs as children progress through key development milestones from ages 0-11 years.
“A recent study found 65% of Australian parents were not confident they could identify signs of social or emotional problems in their children, and a similar percentage didn’t know where to get help,” Minister Hunt said.
“Giving parents and carers access to the Triple P resources will mean more confident parents and carers, and happier, more resilient children.
“It will give parents a better understanding of their children’s mental health and wellbeing, help them identify potential behavioural problems, and outline when and how to access help.”
Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program will complement support provided to children and their families through the new Head to Health Kids Hubs and additional perinatal mental health screening and support announced in the 2021-22 Budget.
“We know that many mental health conditions develop at an early age and then continue throughout life, growing in their severity. That’s why it is so important that we act early and equip parents and carers with the tools they need to best support their children,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
Triple P was developed here in Australia and ranks number one on the United Nations’ list of evidence-based programs. It is used in more than 30 countries and has been shown to work across cultures, socio-economic groups and in many kinds of family structures.
The Triple P program also delivers specialist supports for parents of children with a disability, parents of children with health concerns, parents going through separation or divorce, and for both culturally and linguistically diverse and First Nations parents.
Triple P International Country Director, Carol Markie-Dadds, said parents and caregivers play a major role in the long-term success of their children’s emotional resilience, mental health, and life outcomes.
“This Australian Government initiative means that all families will have free access to Triple P’s evidence-based, world-leading, Positive Parent Program, giving vital assistance to parents and caregivers to support their children’s emotional and coping skills – benefitting them now and into the future,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.
“Now more than ever, parents, carers and children are living with increased levels of anxiety and stress due to the pandemic, disasters, and global events. The program will give parents and caregivers the tools and confidence they need to support their children’s mental health wellbeing in these times of uncertainty and beyond.
“Positive family relationships are key to shaping a healthy and supportive environment in which children will thrive.”
The program will be supported by a national media campaign to promote parenting programs as a normal, proactive parenting option and to reduce the stigma of parents and carers asking for help.
The Morrison Government continues to make mental health and suicide prevention a national priority and continues to drive structural reform and real change to deliver better outcomes for all Australians.
Through the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Budgets, the Government is investing nearly $3 billion into the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to drive this reform.
As a result of these investments, funding for mental health and suicide prevention services through the Health portfolio have increased to a record $6.8 billion in 2022-23, more than doubling since 2012-13.
Young Australians needing support can access free services through Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), their local headspace or online through eheadspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/).