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Sparking Important Conversations for Families


Helping families to be mentally strong and deal with the “tremendous challenges” they face is close to the heart of retired businessman and director David Corduff.

The grandfather of seven, volunteer, Beyond Blue Speaker and now Parent Guides ambassador
is passionate about mental health. He often sees parents, carers and children struggle to cope
with social media, cyber bullying, drugs, gambling, mental health, and respect.

“Parents need as much support and information as possible to be there for their children when
life challenges occur,” David says. “In an ever-changing world, parents need to access factual,
research-based information such as the Parent Guides.”

 

Run by Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry, Parent Guides help parents educate themselves about drugs, sex, social media, mental health and more. They present up-to-date research and expert advice in a ‘no holds barred’ way that tackles difficult issues and facilitates conversations.

“It is critical to have a resource such as the Guides, which are in hard copy and easily accessible to parents and children,” David says. “They are not ‘preachy’ and do not seek to offer solutions as such. They lead the way as a tool to initiate conversations between parents and children.”

David worked in manufacturing and has three children and seven grandchildren. Married to Liz for 45 years, he arrived from Ireland in 1971 and became an Australian citizen in 1988.

He is an advisor to the board at Presentation Family Centre on the Mornington Peninsula, which offers short-term low-cost respite facilities for families affected by adverse conditions. David also serves on the committee of community organisation Peninsula Voice.

David has had a long association with Parent Guides CEO Yvonne Hackett and more recently Eileen Berry. He says their publications are “top class, relevant and well researched”.

“They fill a gap in terms of parent/child communication, and I believe my life experience,
particularly within the mental health space, will be invaluable in promoting the publications and ’spreading the word’,” he says.

“They are an excellent resource and can fundamentally make a difference to the parent/child relationship.”

David is also a fan of Alan Hopgood’s superb play about suicide, Jess Chooses Life, and wants to see it and Parent Guides promoted more widely, particularly in schools.

“Life is always full of challenges,” David says. “It is our response to these challenges that determine whether the outcomes are good or not so good. In the critical parent/child relationship, it is very important to have resources such as the Parent Guides available, to underpin a supportive and potentially positive outcome.”

Parent Guides and Health Play


Parent Guides & HealthPlay

Parent Guides are a proud supporter of HealthPlay, a contemporary theatre company based in Melbourne.

In 2019, Parent Guides partnered with Healthy Play to deliver a successful play about mental health and teenage bullying. You can read more about the successful event here.

With their unique and humorous approach to health issues, they are writing and performing plays to educate and entertain. You can learn more about their four mental health plays for 2020 and previous plays below, and visit their website for bookings.

Parents Must Model Respectful Behaviour


Parent Guides “tell it like it is”.

With the consequences of bad behaviour and broken relationships in the media spotlight, a new guide aims to help parents and carers to develop in their children a sense of respect.

Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry says many topical issues, such as violence against women and generally abusive behaviour, stem from a lack of respect. She says most people are respectful, but a significant minority do not demonstrate it in public or at home.

“This can result in sexism, racism, violence and other destructive behaviours,” she says.

Respect 101 is the latest in Eileen’s Parent Guides series. It helps families define respect and encourage it in their children. “Respect 101 identifies what respectful behaviour is, how to turn disrespectful into respectful, how to create life-long relationships and how to embed respect within the culture of adolescence,” Eileen says.

Read more

Suicide – It’s Time We Talked



See the Play on the 29th of March. At Sacred Heart College, Retreat Road, Newtown – Geelong. Register and Get Your Free Tickets!

 

It’s time to talk about suicide:

A new and engaging production that combines a play about suicide with a panel of mental health experts will connect and bring people together in local communities.

Read more

Mental Health 101: Experts to discuss stress and anxiety.


A local library will tackle the important issue of youth mental health and well-being, with an open and interactive free information evening. This event will be for teenagers, their parents and carers.

Casey Cardinia Libraries will host Mental Health 101: Stress and Anxiety. Based on the Mental Health 101 parent guide produced by Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry.

The event, held on 28 March, will discuss mental health and related issues such as drugs, sex and social media.

Eileen will join an expert panel from Headspace and PoPsy to inform and spark conversations about how to manage mental health and well-being.

She says mental health is a huge concern for young people, with suicide the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15-44 (source: ABS).

“Parents and carers want to know how they can help their kids become resilient, minimise mental health issues and deal with them when they do arise,” Eileen says. “We want to encourage important conversations between adults and kids that can help achieve this.”

Read more

Children Need to Experience Failure to Thrive


Helicopter parents take an overactive and excessive interest in their child’s life.

All parents want the best for their child but they can become over-involved, smothering, overbearing, interfering and over-controlling. I also call them tow-truck parents because they wait for an accident to happen and then steam in and clear up the mess.

They have clear opinions about who is the right teacher for their child, what sport they should play, they want their child to be in the popular group and they offer disproportionate assistance, rather than allowing their teenager space.

These parents don’t enjoy uncertainty, so they over-prepare and supervise intensely and interfere with their child’s opportunity to do something for themselves and to deal with the natural consequences of their actions. Read more

I Was Bullied My Whole Life


Keiah Smith endured years of bullying through primary school and high school. She became depressed and attempted suicide.

I was bullied my whole life but it got particularly bad when I was ten and revealed I’d been sexually abused. I told a friend and it spread around the school and I was called a ‘slut’. I was also overweight and picked on for that, too.

At high school, I was regularly bashed. Mum and Dad told the school it wasn’t acceptable but it continued. I was bashed walking to class, during lunch and when I retaliated, I was suspended. It was heartbreaking and it’s hard to put into words how I felt. Read more

Youth Mental Health in the Spotlight


Parent Guides: ‘Tell it like it is’.

‘Honest and open conversation is a must for parents and carers dealing with teenagers mental health issues.’ Says a new resource that tells it like it is.

Melbourne media identity Eileen Berry says ‘Suicide, anxiety, depression, ADHD, self-harm, eating disorders and other mental illnesses are all taking a terrible toll on young people.’

But she says parents can help minimise these and other issues by educating themselves about building resilience in children by knowing how to approach problems if they arise.
Read more

When it Comes to Sex, the Internet is Not the Devil


Bettina Arndt

Bettina Arndt

I know there a lot of scary talk about teenagers and sex, but the sky is not falling in. It’s simply not true that all kids are being sexualised too early or are madly into porn or pressured into sex before they are ready.

I actually think is a really good time now to be a teenager with so much information online to help them learn about their bodies and prepare for sexual experiences.

When I was first working in sex education back in the ‘70s I used to smuggle slides of penises and vulvas into the country so I could show people what normal genitals looked like. Now there are great websites showing all the normal variations and teaching young people about their bodies. It’s amazing. Read more

How to Help Your Children Develop Empathy


As parents we need to help our kids step up when they see hurtful or hateful behaviour. We need to help them critique their assumptions about what kinds of behaviour everyone else thinks is OK. In adolescence, children place high value on what friends think, and they use that to guide their behaviour because they want to belong.

When you talk about these assumptions, children may find that actually their mates don’t want to be that kind of mate or that kind of boyfriend. Instead, they want to be a good friend, and our children need to think about what that means in terms of their behaviour towards other people. Read more

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