Playgroup Australia makes World Mental Health Promise
On the occasion of World Mental Health Week, Playgroup Australia have promised to “further strengthen our national Playgroup village by holding true to our values of providing friendly, fun, flexible, future focused community programs which support family wellbeing and build stronger, more connected communities through play.”
Australian campaigning around 2019 World Mental Health Day aimed to challenge perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encourage everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light – something Playgroup Australia CEO Fiona May said was close to home for her.
“I’ve experienced first hand the highs and lows of parenthood. Sharing my parenting journey with others, and building relationships through playgroup helped me navigate the choppy waters” Ms May said.
The expression “it takes a village to raise a child” is one which inspires and drives the work of Playgroup Australia, she noted, adding that playgroup was a vehicle which “gives hope, extends families, and raises happy healthy connected communities.”
While raising children can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be a challenging and isolating time in one’s life.
“Parents may feel the pressure of expectations – not only from others but also of their own making, they may struggle with their own mental health or have concerns about their child’s wellbeing. Playgroup Australia was established to help support families with young children thrive by strengthening important bonds through play. Playgroups can be a safe harbor for parents and children as they travel together through the early years” a spokesperson for the Group said.
Globally, acceptance and understanding of issues affecting parents, such as postnatal depression and anxiety, is growing, however “society still has a way to go to ensure those suffering mental illness feel comfortable enough to ask for help, and access support without stigma” the spokesperson said.
Research demonstrates that when parents are supported, children thrive, and when children thrive, the whole community benefits. These positive effects support the wellbeing of future generations, Playgroup Australia said.
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