by Greta Yeoman
As Timaru children return to school, a new resilience group for the whānau of children with behavioural difficulties is set to launch.
Author and counsellor Joy Sylvia has joined with parent Jo Ladbrook to start the Resilience Group, after Ms Ladbrook approached Ms Sylvia at her book launch last year.
Ms Ladbrook told Ms Sylvia, who had just released her new book Dealing with the Crap – aimed at helping young people and their parents struggling with mental health and wellbeing – that she had several friends who were really struggling with young people who had and were exhibiting behaviours like depression, self-harm and anxiety.
“I know personally what it can be like worrying about a young person’s behaviour,” Ms Ladbrook said.
“[You end up] asking yourself over and over, ‘what do I need to do to help my child reach their full potential? What do I need to be doing to help my child have dreams and goals and reach them?”
Ms Sylvia, who is a former social worker and four-time author, said the aim of the twice-monthly support sessions was to help parents and caregivers understand exactly what was going on for their young person.
“[We will] work out the best responses to the behaviours, both short term and long term; and help the young person be the best they can be,” she said.
“It is important to provide families with the support they need to develop appropriate strategies, to help maintain sanity and feel good about the young person and themselves.”
She was also looking at “embracing technology” to run an online video call session for small groups and individuals.