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Let's Put Children First: Parenting Resources & Children's Mental Health Promotion Appropriate for Communities and Cultures

Irving Rootman; Nancy Craig, Tom Hay & Keith McLeod, Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto; Lawrence Spero, Educational Computing, University of Toronto.

The primary purpose of this project is to link parents with practitioners, researchers, educators, and policy makers who have an interest in promoting mental health of young children; and coordinate the efforts of all partners in gaining a clear focus on the issues influencing parenting of young children, and enhancing resources and access to resources for parents.

Information about issues and resources for parents was gained by community consultations and surveys. Consultations involved five discussion groups in each of three Canadian cities. Surveys were collected from 150 participants across Canada representing community health agencies and professional groups.

Participants expressed concerns about the issues of parenting and discipline, and the development of self-esteem, with the primary sources fo information being family and friends. Coordinating resources and enhancing connections among parents and friends were recommended to

assist parents to overcome barriers of isolation, language and culture, and to bridge the gap between community needs and existing resources.

Future plans for the project involve assisting participants to access and share information about resources by way of local community networks and national interactive electronic networks. A critical

framework will be developed to evaluate resources for parent satisfaction, accessibility and cultural sensitivity.

For more information contact: The Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto, 100 College Street, Suite 207, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1. Tel: (416) 978-1809; Fax (416) 971-1365.