Last year, Intervention Services and Mental Health and Addictions staff at Labrador Grenfell Health applied for and received a $30,000 grant from the International Grenfell Association to train staff to deliver the ‘Bounce Back and Thrive: Parent Resiliency Skills’ training program.
Fourteen Intervention Services and Mental Health and Addictions staff from throughout the Labrador Grenfell Health service area took part in the ‘trainer intensive’ at Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Three Nunatsiavut staff members and one staff member from Child, Youth and Family Services were also able to take part in this training, which was delivered by Jennifer Pearson, and will partner with Labrador-Grenfell Health staff to deliver this program.
Resiliency is the ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortune or change and to become strong, healthy or successful after something bad happens. Resilience helps people handle stress, overcome childhood disadvantage, bounce back from trauma and reach out to others. It is a combination of skills and positive attributes that people gain from their life experiences and relationships. These attributes help them solve problems, cope with challenges, handle stress, recover from trauma, overcome disadvantaged childhoods and contributes to healthy child development. Resilience is associated with better health and greater success in life which can improve future health and wellbeing both on an individual and at a community level.
Bounce Back and Thrive: Parent Resiliency Skills Training program is a 10-week program designed to help parents, help their children to build resilience. Parents are taught the thinking and coping skills that promote resilience and can teach these skills to their children by being role models. The first part of the program focuses on enhancing parent’s capacity to provide a caring relationship and role model skills by exploring why caring relationship, positive role models and a strength based approach helps to build resilience in young children. The program also builds self-regulation skills to enhance emotional regulation, impulse control and capacity for reflection about reactions to stressful circumstances. Learning key thinking skills, including understanding how thoughts can cause reactions that hinder a resilient response to situations, help to identify non-resilient thinking habits, to develop flexible thinking and find alternative ways to respond to conflict, problems and stress.
The second part of the program helps parents apply behavior guidance and resiliency-building strategies directly with their children. They do this by learning to use empathy to build close relationships, develop emotional literacy skills and help children develop a ‘can do’ attitude by offering opportunities to master skills. By offering encouragement and confidence-building approaches, as well as by building an environment of positivity, enhances children’s capacity to maintain hope and optimism.
Bounce Back and Thrive is an interactive program delivered through information exchange, hands-on activities, discussions, practicing skills and video clips of parents and children demonstrating resilience building strategies. Plans are under way to offer this program at sites throughout the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.
Thank you to the International Grenfell Association for providing funding that enabled Labrador-Grenfell Health to provide this worthwhile and important programming.
Diane Lake, Social Worker, Therapeutic Intervention/Rehabilitation Services