About Sickkids
About SickKids

September 11, 2012

SickKids teams up with TVOParents.com to provide resources for parents

By Lauren Poplak

Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has joined forces with TVOParents.com to support and promote early mental health awareness and brain development in children.  This partnership, which began in September 2012, aims to provide parents with educational resources to help their children succeed at school and in life. IMHP will provide TVOparents.com with research and educational content that will help parents support healthy brain development in children. The aim is to teach parents how to recognize and respond to stress their kids may experience.

The first three years of a child’s life are crucial for their overall growth as the brain matures at a faster rate than any other period. How a parent reacts to a stressful situation can either strengthen or hinder a child’s healthy mental development, as stressful situations can cause high levels of cortisol, leading to a loss of brain cells. Therefore it is vital to arm parents with useful information while their child is progressing through the developmental stages. IMHP’s “SickKids Tips” will assist parents in exploring effective ways to respond to anxiety and support their child successfully prepare for later life.

“Research in the field of infant mental health and brain development is exploding, but very little of this new information is reaching parents,” said Chaya Kulkarni, Director of IMHP at SickKids. “As parents are the first and most important relationship in a child’s world it is vital to arm them with the most up-to-date knowledge and expert advice. A Baby or toddler’s development is dependent on the primary relationships surrounding them. This forum allows us to further reach out to parents and to better equip them in supporting their child’s mental health and brain development.”

During the one-year collaboration, IMHP at SickKids and TVOParents.com will be using the “SickKids Tips” forum to provide parents with video tutorials, expert interviews, weekly tips, blog postings and more. Some upcoming areas of focus will include: back-to-school, the impact of poverty, brain development and self-regulation in regards to technology.

About Infant Mental Health Promotion

Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) is a coalition of individuals and professional representatives from agencies concerned with infants and their families. IMHP is dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes for infants through developing and supporting best practices through education and training, dissemination of information, networking and advocacy.

IMHP was initiated in 1988 by the Department of Psychiatry of The Hospital for Sick Children. Since then the organization has grown considerably and maintains strong representation from community-based agencies across Canada. Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) provides a collaborative, informed and passionate voice for infants, families and caregivers. For more information visit www.IMHPromotion.ca .

About TVO 
TVO is Ontario’s public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO’s vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and is a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit tvo.org.

TVOParents.com 
helps parents to help their kids succeed in school and in life. TVOParents.com provides parents with expert advice, discussions, videos, audio podcasts, blogs, and feature articles covering all aspects of their child’s learning and development. Fully integrated with tvokids.com, TVOParents.com demonstrates how every TVOKids program, game, or activity supports the Ontario curriculum. For more information, visit tvoparents.com.