School-Based Parent Network Programs: A Partnership in Reducing Childhood Anxiety

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DeRosa, Sue
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Today's world is quickly becoming full of distractions, busyness, and barriers that often force people to feel like they need to cope with life in isolation and feel disconnected from their community. Now more than ever, it is time to support and engage all stakeholders in a child's life to support their mental health well-being. Anxiety has become an all too common issue among school-aged children over the last decade. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (2021), 70 percent of people who live with mental illness see their symptoms begin before the age of 18, and it affects 1.2 million of our children and youth. That means about 1 in every 5 children experience mental disorders, of which anxiety is the most prevalent (Health Canada, 2021). It is clear from the research reviewed, such as in the study done by Caspe et al. (2006), that utilizing forms of connection and creating caring relationships plays a pivotal role in providing an environment for children where they are more likely to thrive and less likely to suffer from anxiety. By delving into the theoretical and research-based importance of building connections, and authentic relationships built on genuine care, we will see a tremendous opportunity to create a partnership between the two most significant environments in a child's life and build a sense of community. This research will be used to propose a school-based program that is structured to support, network, and educate parents to feel empowered and become more confident in raising physically and mentally healthy children. The program's objective is to explore whether creating a caring and connected partnership between home and school can help reduce anxiety in school-aged children.
school-aged child anxiety , parental anxiety , home-school connection , ethics of care in education , parenting programs
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