SPD@Bedok Holds Its First EIPIC Parent Support Group | SPD - Singapore
SPD@Bedok Holds Its First EIPIC Parent Support Group
SPD@Bedok conducted its first EIPIC Parent Support Group (PSG) in April this year. Facilitated by senior social worker Junaidah Binte Baharawi and assisted by social work assistant Michelle Tham, six caregivers signed up for the five-session programme packed with practical strategies and hands-on activities aimed at stimulating caregivers’ interest and enhancing their awareness in self-care.
Caregivers of special needs children often face challenges such as not having enough time for themselves, grieving over the loss of a healthy baby, grappling with financial strain from multiple therapy sessions and medical follow ups as well as having difficulty managing society’s expectations. Recognising this and the roller coaster of emotions that caregivers face, the PSG is conducted at all SPD’s Building Bridges EIPIC centres to help caregivers cope better.
Through the PSG, caregivers get to meet each other and to share their experiences in a safe environment. It also gives them a platform for mutual support and enhances their skills in problem-solving, self-regulation, conflict resolution, networking and help-seeking.
The sessions at SPD@Bedok covered an array of topics that included understanding emotions, the various challenges, coping strategies and recognising one’s strength. Apart from discussions, the facilitators also incorporated team building activities. A parent was also invited to one of the sessions to share his parenting and caregiving journey which resonated with the participants.
With the trust built over the five sessions, participants felt safe to share their deep-seated thoughts and emotions. There was also a consensus that the knowledge gained at the PSG was applicable to the caregiving of their children. A takeaway cited by the parents is the awareness of the importance of recognising one’s emotions and dealing with the stressors in life, so that when one is calmer, one is better able to take care of one’s children. A few of them highlighted the need to have time for themselves and shared how they coped during times of adversities.
We hope the camaraderie among the caregivers will continue to grow as we wrap up every PSG, and that they will support one another in an ever challenging, yet fulfilling journey of parenting.