‘Is this normal?’, ‘Have you ever experienced this with your children?’ or ‘Where do I get help with this?’ are some of the most often asked questions on The Motherload®’s community group.
Concern over your children’s emotional wellbeing, and unusual or surprising behaviour can give cause for a lot of worry and questions. When do we know something is serious, and requires work? And what do you do when you notice a change?
After the hand-wringing has finished, we often feel that instinctive call to action; but knowing what to do, and what to report is quite another matter. Standing still long enough to notice patterns in behaviour, when all around us hectic family life ensues, can be the greatest challenge when you are balancing every child and parent’s needs, activities, work or education.
So let us introduce MyFamPal and MyFamPal Parent; created by John Kerrigan and Paul Howard, this is a new web-based app that helps you identify and try to prevent any behavioural and mental health issues before they take root. Behavioural and mental health issues can affect any family regardless of their background, ethnicity or income at any time. John and Paul are two successful entrepreneurs and fathers who have spent 20 years innovating and investing in healthcare research. They are backed by an Advisory Committee, made up of eminent psychiatrists, psychologists and family health experts.
But what is MyFamPal Parent, and how can that help you and your family? We had a chat with John from MyFamPal to find out more…
Tell us a bit about what MyFamPal is, John…
We like to think of it as an emotional fitness tracker for your family. It’s easy-to-use and contains a series of proven questionnaires that are designed to assess your children’s emotional health. The results help you identify and prevent any behavioural and mental health issues before they take root. You can also see how your family compares against others to put your results into perspective.
MyFampal Parent also helps you monitor your kids’ moods, emotions, and behaviours over time to identify potential triggers and flash-points. This will help you all understand when your family is feeling most positive…or most vulnerable. Soon you’ll be communicating better and learning how to help each other through those tough times.
Why did you create it?
We created this app for parents because behavioural and mental health issues can affect any family. Scientists estimate that two-thirds of children face life-changing experiences, like bullying and abuse, which then have far-reaching, life-long consequences, sometimes leading to bad decision making and an increased risk of serious health conditions.
These issues – and the symptoms they provoke such as anxiety, rage or suicidal thoughts – can be a terrible burden on the families affected. That’s why we created the app, because it’s born out of our personal experience of dealing with these issues.
Aren’t there existing services to help families identify these issues and offer support?
Well, yes and no. The problem is that most public health services are overburdened, faced by a double-whammy of reduced funding alongside increasing demand. The support that’s available comes after the damage has already been done. Almost all public and private health services are devoted to treating mental illness, but not preventing it happening in the first place.
How many questionnaires are there? How long will each one take to complete?
There are currently 14 questionnaires which take anywhere between 1-30 minutes to complete. You can do each questionnaire in one go or in bite-size chunks, whatever works best for you. We will ask you to repeat each questionnaire over time to measure progress and alert you to any challenges you face. The questionnaires will be staggered so you’re not overwhelmed, and MyFampal Parent will remind you when a questionnaire is due to be completed.
Once a questionnaire is completed, what will the results tell us?
They’ll help you track your family’s emotional wellbeing over time. The service may detect behavioural or mental health challenges, or sound a warning around the way your family communicates.
They also provide some much needed perspective. It could be that your family is experiencing an issue shared by most families. Alternatively, your result may not be in a ‘higher risk zone’, but compared to other families there is still work to do.
How can our readers download or access this app?
There’s no need to download anything because it’s a web-based app! So just open your web browser – on PC, tablet or smartphone – and go to https://www.myfampal.com/myfampal-parent/ then click “Try MyFampal Parent for FREE now”. After you’ve registered, save the page as a bookmark or pin it to your home screen on your mobile device so you can find it easily.
To find out more about MyFampal and how it can help your family, there’s lots more information here: www.myfampal.com.
If you want to download the app now, head to: www.myfampal.com/myfampal-parent and get started.
This is a sponsored feature but as ever, The Motherload® only works with, and recommends brands that we feel our users and readers will really enjoy reading about.