Montana DPHHS introduces enhanced web resources for parents

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has added new resources to its Parentingmontana.org website.

KGVO News spoke with State DPHHS Director Adam Meier on Thursday, who introduced the newly improved website.

“What we wanted to do with this website was to put together a toolkit of various resources on how to really build those relationships, how to cultivate those relationships, and how to have difficult conversations about complex topics,” said Director Meier. “Research shows that the mental, emotional and behavioral development of children has a direct impact on their educational and health-related outcomes, both in childhood and in adulthood. This website helps parents develop the social and emotional skills that children need to support their mental, emotional and behavioral health.

Meier then described the merits of the improved website.

“When you have to think about having a difficult conversation with your child about drug use or addiction or bullying, there are approaches that have been tested and proven to be most effective,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do with these resources. We’re trying to empower parents to have data- and evidence-informed conversations and consider how children may receive this information, so that’s really what this website does.

Meier said there are audio-visual tools on the website that parents can use for better communication with their children.

“We have, for example, new podcasts,” he said. “Podcasts bring in parenting experts to have conversations so they can hear how these messages can be delivered. We have new materials and we partner with experts across the country, but in particular with the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University, and they help us develop these materials for the website, there So has tons and tons of content for just about any situation you might encounter.

Meier said the information on the website will also be useful to other agencies in each community.

“For people who are mentors in the community, these resources are invaluable. So if you’re a coach of a local Little League team or you’re a school resource officer, you don’t have to be a parent to go to this website and learn something,” a- he declared. “So if you’re in a position where you’re mentoring, or you’re coaching, or you’re in parenting, or you’re a grandparent, then there’s something here for you to learn how to interact with kids. in a way supported by evidence in a meaningful way.

Meir said there is also an online coordination toolkit to engage teachers, healthcare providers, law enforcement and other community leaders.

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