Family Help providing mental health support

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Barb Tennant struggled for years to deal with her daughter's bedwetting problem, never knowing help was just a phone call away.

It was through local nurse practitioner Nancy MacDonald that she was referred to Family Help, a service that provides early treatment for families and children with important problems in the privacy of their own homes.

Barb Tennant struggled for years to deal with her daughter's bedwetting problem, never knowing help was just a phone call away.

It was through local nurse practitioner Nancy MacDonald that she was referred to Family Help, a service that provides early treatment for families and children with important problems in the privacy of their own homes.

"She wasn't a kid that just wet the bed once in awhile, it was every night," said Tennant, about her six-year-old daughter Madison. "She was at the age now where it was starting to bother her."

As she and her husband both work full-time, she was pleased to learn that she did not have to take Madison to Halifax or anywhere else. Family Help uses a distance treatment program with literature, audiotapes, videos and weekly telephone support from a coach at the IWK Health Centre, supervised by a professional.

"It was very convenient and they were great because they set up appointments on the phone when it was good for me," she explained. "Every appointment was in the evening."

After speaking with their coach, the family received a package in the mail that included all the information they needed, and an alarm for Madison to wear to bed every night. The alarm would wake her up when it detected moisture.

Within a week Tennant saw results with her daughter, who was cured of the problem within a month.

Bedwetting is just one of many problems handled through different components of Family Help, and has a high success rate, according to program manager Trish Pottie.

"A lot of it has to do with availability," she explained. "It's after hours, fast relief. You don't have to take the child to a clinic, and the coach is a key component as well."

For more information on the Family Help program, call 1-866-470-7111 or visit the website at www.bringinghealthhome.com.



awagstaff@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: IWK Health Centre

Geographic location: Madison, Halifax

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