September 23, 2016
The Parent Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan (PMPS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. As one of its first locations in the province to launch the home-visiting and early childhood outreach program, Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is proud to join in the special recognition.
“The Parent Mentoring Program has helped thousands of Saskatchewan participants since its inception. PMPS is a valuable program that provides parents and young children with a warm, caring relationship that is supportive and encouraging,” commented Jenise Tisdale, provincial coordinator of the PMPS. “Through home visits and group opportunities we connect program participants with a mentor or coordinator who visits the family regularly providing guidance and support,” added Tisdale.
The program was introduced in 10 provincial sites - including The Battlefords - in 1996 under the Successful Mothers Support Program title. It was expanded to 16 sites – including Meadow Lake and Lloydminster - in 1999. In 2006, the program was re-named the Parent Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan. Prairie North's PMPS program continues to serve clients in The Battlefords and area, Meadow Lake and area, and Lloydminster and area.
Elaine Sonmor, PMPS Coordinator in PNHR, said “Parenting can often feel isolating, perplexing and stressful. PMPS offers parent-focused support: someone to talk to who parents can trust and someone who will listen and spend time with the parents. These parent mentors will offer suggestions, information, referrals and outings that suit individual parent needs and that are focused on the health and wellbeing of the family. For parents who are new to the community or who do not have someone to rely on, having the support of a PMPS mentor can make a significant positive impact on the parents and their family.”
“We also have partnerships that allow us to offer group programming,” Sonmor continued. “In the past six months, we have had 80 groups in our Region, with 426 parents and 474 children participating.” The groups include stroller walks, Hello Parent, Newcomer Parenting, and Babies First. A new group called ‘Mothering Journeys' will focus on maternal wellness and will begin in North Battleford this fall.
Prairie North's program currently has 25 parent mentors. “Over the years, we have had hundreds of volunteer mentors who have offered their time and opened their hearts to families throughout the Region,” Sonmor stated.
PMPS mentor Jessica said, “I have learned and gained so much as a mentor from my parent match and feel our relationship goes both ways. Being part of this program has helped me recognize that all parents have their strengths and their weaknesses, and that we can all support and learn from one another.”
PMPS parent participant Nicole, who is paired with Jessica said, “The Parent Mentoring Program has brought me comfort, laughs, and a new friend. My mentor and I have so much in common that we have become great friends. She has shown me that even when I am struggling, I have a listening ear, and usually, my struggles are completely normal. This has brought me relief and comfort.”
Nicole continued that her mentor “has also been a great person to go with to see all of the great child-friendly events. I highly recommend this program to any parent who is feeling alone in this community and who would like a listening ear, a helping hand, and someone to share great times with - including your kids!”
Information on the Parent Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan, including how to become involved as a mentor or participant, can be found at http://www.pmps.ca . You may also contact the Prairie North program for The Battlefords and area at 306-446-6443; 306-820-6236 for Lloydminster and area; or 306-236-1581 for Meadow Lake and area.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, Communications Officer
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