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18 November 2020

Productivity Commission report points to universal support for families under COVID stress

The provider of Australia’s leading evidence-based parenting support program, Triple P International, has greeted the release of the Productivity Commission’s Final Report into Mental Health as an important step for Australian families - especially those under stress from the challenges of COVID-19.

Country Director for Triple P International, Carol Markie-Dadds, said it was refreshing to hear the Commission say that the mental health of children and families should be a national priority, starting with help for new parents and continuing through a child’s life.

Ms Markie-Dadds said her organisation was heartened by the report’s call for better access to evidence-based support and education programs for parents, delivered locally through early childhood centres, schools and community centres.

“We also applaud the Commission’s call for expanding the provision of evidence-based online parenting programs such as the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.

“Already families throughout Queensland and Victoria have easy access to Triple P’s proven online program, thanks to funding from their respective State Governments. Every day, parents and carers from diverse backgrounds are accessing Triple P’s proven and practical parenting support online in these states.”

Ms Markie-Dadds said Triple P’s aim is to ensure every Australian family can access this proven program at no cost, and optimise their children’s social, emotional and behavioural development, as well as respond quickly and effectively to any emerging problems.

“We believe there is a strong case to make Triple P widely available to all Australian families online,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.

“Learning to regulate or manage our thoughts, feelings and behaviours is essential to our long term mental health, and there are simple, practical strategies parents can use to help their child develop their capacity for self-regulation.

“For some children, learning to self-regulate their emotions is challenging, yet we know if children struggle to regulate their emotions at age 3, without support, chances are, they will have challenges starting school, getting on with others, waiting their turn and following instructions.

“So, it is pleasing to note the Commission’s recommendation to introduce early childhood checks on children’s social and emotional development as a way of giving families better access to support when they need it.”

Triple P International believes improving the capacity of the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workforce to support children’s social and emotional development can deliver substantial benefits. Providing better support and early intervention for families is an important part of an improved mental health system.