As a parent or guardian, it can be incredibly challenging to navigate the complex world of parenting, particularly when your child is struggling with anxiety, depression or emotional distress. It can be even more challenging when these struggles result in school refusal, leading to significant educational and social consequences for your child. Researchers from Monash University and Deakin University are offering a free parenting program to support parents of secondary school students struggling with school attendance, available now as part of a research trial.
The program, called Partners in Parenting – Education (PiP-Ed), is a self-guided, online program designed to provide parents with personalised and practical parenting strategies to respond to their teenager’s anxiety, depression, and school attendance difficulties. The aim of the program is to improve parenting confidence and support the mental health and education of teenagers.
The PiP-Ed program is an updated version of the award-winning, evidence-based parenting program ‘Partners in Parenting’, with additional strategies and resources tailored to the specific challenges of parents of secondary school students. By participating in the program, parents will have access to a range of evidence-based strategies to help their child, including how to reduce school avoidance behaviours, enhance communication with their child, and identify and manage stress triggers.
While the PiP-Ed program is available to all parents, it is specifically designed for parents/guardians of teenagers aged 12 to 18 who have difficulty attending school due to anxiety, depression, or emotional distress. Participants must also be proficient in English, have regular internet access and live in Australia.
It is important to note that the PiP-Ed program is not intended to replace professional support from a mental health and/or education professional. Parents are encouraged to seek support from qualified professionals in conjunction with participating in the program.
The program is completely free for parents to participate in, and upon completion of the optional evaluation survey, parents will receive a $20 e-voucher as a token of appreciation for their time. Additionally, some parents may be invited to participate in an optional interview about their experience with the program, for which they will receive an additional $20 e-voucher.
To access the program, parents can follow the link here. More information can be found here.
The PiP-Ed program has received ethical approval from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC; Project ID: 37577), but other ethics committee approvals have not been obtained, as the research does not require participation from schools. The team is merely informing interested parties about the project due to substantial interest from schools in recent years.
In conclusion, if you are a parent or guardian of a secondary school student struggling with anxiety, depression, or emotional distress, the PiP-Ed program may be an excellent resource to provide practical support and strategies for your child. With its evidence-based approach and personalised support, this free program is worth considering, and its flexible and online delivery means it can easily fit into your schedule.