Parents Mental Health Day

January 2024

27 January 2024 marks Parent Mental Health Day.

This year’s theme is #CreatingPositiveRelationships and offers an opportunity for parents and carers to acknowledge and discuss their struggles and share in their achievements of connecting positively with each other and their family. This is something our members understand all too well.

We asked them: What tip would you give to other parents about what helps your mental health as you navigate bereavement?' ...and we’ve collated just some of the amazing responses.

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“Sleep well. Eat lots of veg. And accept you won’t get everything done in a day. But that’s ok.” - Rich

“I found going out and walking helped a lot. It still does. Going to the park or anywhere. Watching people go by we guess their lives. The fresh air really helped.” - Charlene

"Try not to think too far ahead as it’s too scary…just try and take it one day at a time and get through the day. Also, don’t try and do everything..I found that setting one small goal for myself every day worked quite well, such as emptying the dishwasher, as I could then feel good once I’d done it.”  - Sarah

“Speak to people, accept help when you want it but don't be scared to say no if you just want time for yourself. Grief  tires you out so have some ME time.” - Scott

"Cry and grieve with your children. Voice your feelings aloud, so they feel comfortable voicing their feelings, too. Talk about the one you lost often, remembering happy times together. Have the kids pick their favourite pictures of their mum/dad with them in it, and print the pictures onto a collage to keep in each of their bedrooms. Don’t be afraid to tell them 'I’m having a hard day' sometimes.” - Rebecca

"Do something for yourself at least once a week. I joined a community choir (South London Choir) and I love it and the opportunities and new friends it’s brought into my life." - Kirsty

“One hour or one day at a time and don’t think too far ahead…” - Bridie

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“3 things. Live in the moment. Realise how strong you are as the weeks,months and years progress. And don’t blame yourself like I did for a long time.” - June

“Not looking too far to the future. It’s easy to get overwhelmed about how you’ll manage, you can work it out as you go.”  - Orlanda

“Just be kind to yourself - you're only human and not superhuman. Housework, washing etc can wait….sleep if you need to while kids are at school. Just take time for yourself” - Steph

“My dog was a lifesaver - she gave me the impetus to get outside and walk every day. Not only did the fresh air and exercise positively impact me mentally, but I also got to meet other dog walkers, many of whom became friends.” - Maria

You don’t have to face widowhood alone - WAY members have access to incredible peer-to-peer support.

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WAY member and ex-primary school deputy headteacher Emma Marfleet has put together a brilliant year of resources to help families who are navigating grief.