“Support” the key to building stronger families and communities

National Families Week aims to celebrate the vital role families’ play within society however family does not just mean parents and children.

Carinity Program Manager Teresa Jackson said increasingly families today can mean anything from natural, step or foster parents, extended family, close friends or a mixture of these.

“Having a stable family base is absolute key to having a strong sense of identity and being able to contribute to wider society,” Ms Jackson said.

“However this family base can be a combination of grandparents, parents, step and foster parents, aunts, uncles, friends and other relatives.”

Carinity Communities offers family counselling to people with children up to the age of 18 years. This can be a combination of seeing either parents and children, couples, individuals, children or the entire family.

“In our fast-paced, consumer world family are increasingly under pressure and problems can often stem from both internal and external family impacts.”

“Some examples would be parents experiencing depression or anxiety, the breakdown of a relationship, children experiencing high anxiety, mental illness, self-harm or thoughts of suicide. All of which contribute to extra pressure on the family.”

“Research shows families lacking support during difficult times can have both a direct and indirect impact on the wider community, such as high youth unemployment, increased crime rates, disengagement from school and the community as a whole.”

“Indirectly the impact can lead to loss of identity and direction, lack of clarity or understanding of interpersonal relationships, inability to correlate action to outcome and personal contribution to outcome.”

“Providing support to those in need is critical to building a stronger community, whether the support is via counselling, engagement with community services or coming from other family members or social and friendship groups.”

John and Mildred* understand how critical support is when a family is in crisis. Several years ago their lives were turned upside down when Mildred was hospitalised for depression.

“I had to quit my job and care for our children which was a huge adjustment for our family,” John said.

It wasn’t until they connected with Carinity that they believed things could change and see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“With the support of Carinity Communities – Narangba we started connecting more with our local community and ended up volunteering with a group that provides breakfast to children at local schools.”

“When you struggle yourself it begins a flow on effect as the awareness of other families who are in need increases and you want to help them the way others have helped you.”

For more information about Counselling please go to www.carinity.org.au/communities

*names changed

For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Sugget, Communications Officer, Carinity

Ph: (07) 3550 3769 / 0409 865 930

Email: emma.sugget@carinity.org.au

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