Help My Child focuses on health and well-being of children and youth
© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel
Ann Millar, parent, tries out the new Help My Child website as Quentin Beavan, left, Telus, Pam Schurman-Montgomery, P.E.I. Home and School and Steven Miller, parent, look on.
The P.E.I. Home and School Federation launched a website Monday that hopes to make it easier for parents to find help for their kids.
Help My Child is a portal website that acts as a P.E.I.-based resource for parents, students and the community that focuses on the health and well-being of children and youth.
The site assists anyone wanting to connect individuals in need of help with the right person, professional or other types of resources.
Areas of help are included under categories like bullying, cyberbullying, educational supports, mental health, physical health, substance abuse, violence and abuse. The website can point parents in the right direction of their child is being bullied or if the parents are looking for ways to convince the kids to get off the couch and get active.
Pam Montgomery, president of the federation, said the site is meant to speed up the process for parents.
"Through lots of conversation and discussion with parents and school administrators, they were telling us they were dedicating a lot of their time to finding different supports and different information for parents and it was very time consuming and challenging,'' Montgomery said after briefing the media on the website in Charlottetown.
The Telus Community Boards Fund wrote a $20,000 cheque to sponsor the initiative while Revolution Media supplied the creative talents.
Montgomery said the effort will be a success if it makes parents feel more at ease.
"I think if parents felt a little more at ease as to where to go to find information, not quite so overwhelmed . . . if they felt it was informative and useful I think I would consider that a success.''
Cythina Fleet, superintendent of education for the English Language School Board, said it's a wonderful resource that puts parents a click away from support.
"It will provide an education and will be a great resource to parents,'' Fleet said. "It enables home and school to connect which is what this federation is all about, connecting home and school to support students.''
Norman Beck, principal at Stonepark Intermediate School, said anything that helps is a step in the right direction.
"I think the task at hand now is to try and get the information out to parents as much as possible and help them become more informed as to what's available to them,'' Beck said.
The junior high school principal says mental health issues seem to be more pressing now than before.
"I think professionals, parents and students are struggling to find out the correct answer, what is the right level of support for students.''
Beck said parents have always cared about the well-being of their children but more and more people are going the extra little mile lately.
"It's a little bit more of a willingness to reach out and provide support for their son or daughter.''