Lockdown life is pretty much the pits, isn’t it? You’re not alone if you’re tired of parenting during lockdown, and run right out of ideas for entertaining the kids and keeping their minds stimulated. Thankfully a new initiative is here to help us out.
Families all around the country are doing things tough, particularly in regards to mental health. With a very large portion of New South Wales residents in lockdown since late June, many are in desperate need for a little bit of help. Despite the current times presenting many challenges, it is a chance to create some truly magical memories and remember that everyone is still together.
“The instability and unpredictably of recent months has taken its toll on people across the state. Before COVID 19 reached our shores, roughly 5 per cent of Australians reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression, but by April 2020 with the nation in its first lockdown this figure increased five-fold,” The Family Project initiative revealed.
The Family Project hopes to support the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of NSW families through targeted and topical daily activities. Each day they’ll be releasing a new activity, all to be delivered to families online.
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, Bronnie Taylor, said with families having to continuously adjust to a new normal, it is important Australians don’t neglect their wellbeing. “The current COVID-19 crisis is extremely challenging for both parents and children who feel overwhelmed and exhausted by the constant demands of remote learning, working from home and the juggling of competing expectations,” Mrs Taylor said.
The Family Project is a completely free initiative that launched this week. It aims to support families with building connection, resilience and togetherness within their household through this time of crisis. A collaboration between perinatal mental health organisation, Gidget Foundation Australia (GFA) and parenting support organisation, Tresillian, The Family Family Project is also an initiative of the NSW Government.
CEO of Gidget Foundation Australia, Arabella Gibson said, “When considering how a family connects, it’s important to remember that adult interpretations of COVID-19 are very different to that of young people. For a person of 50 years old, this pandemic has taken up 3% of their life. Most of their time on earth has been as an adult, meaning they have much more life experience, wisdom, perspective, and understanding that the pandemic will pass.”
“However, for an 8-year-old, this pandemic has taken up nearly 20% of their life. It’s more likely that children would believe the relentless stream of negativity and fixate on the challenges of the pandemic. With this in mind, adults have an enormous responsibility to ensure young people are hearing alternative and positive narratives at home.”
“That’s why we’re launching The Family Project – to support parents in being thoughtful and engaged role-models as we know that can be a lot harder in practice than it sounds. If as a community we can demonstrate how it’s possible to be part of the solution, everyone will benefit,” Ms Gibson said.
“Being a parent is a tough job and in times of crisis the adults have to gather the strength to hold the family up and keep the mood a positive and hopeful one. The daily activities released by The Family Project will spark imagination, creativity and provide structure in a time when this is hard to come by,” shared the CEO of Tresillian, Associate Professor Robert Mills.
You can find our more information, and check out the daily activity at The Family Project.