NQCC starting weekly parenting texts

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Recorder Staff
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ATHOL — Ever been out to eat and seen children cause a ruckus while their parents stare at a smartphone? Ever been one of those parents?

If so, the North Quabbin Community Coalition is preparing to offer some assistance. The coalition is ready to start Parenting Overload, a series of weekly text messages comprised of free advice to lessen the stress of parenting in the 21st century.

Anyone can be added to the Parenting Overload list by registering to participate through a form at http://bit.ly/2tKyUjF or by sending an email to parenting@nqcc.org. Everyone who signs up will receive a text on their personal cell phone.

Heather Bialecki-Canning, NQCC’s executive director, said the messages will include educational snippets, helpful hints, inspirational quotes or suggestions for child-friendly activities.

“(The messages) keep you going, keep you laughing,” she said, adding that she hopes the weekly messages can begin on Saturday, July 1.

Bialecki-Canning said this need was identified two years ago by NQCC, the North Quabbin System of Care (NQSOC) and Clinical & Support Options (CSO). The NQSOC is an advisory group of the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative of the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and CSO is a full-service behavioral health agency that started as the Franklin County Mental Health Association.

This partnership came to fruition, Bialecki-Canning said, through a statewide initiative to help create better systemic access for children’s behavioral health services. She said this partnership evolved into a task force in the North Quabbin area to bring together community members, human service providers and state departments to local concerns regarding access to behavioral health for all children and families.

Bialecki-Canning explained the task force had two subcommittees examine some priority areas that were revealed from a polling of the members and clients they serve. One of those areas was attunement and attachment.

“We wanted to make sure to keep in mind that we all use technology and in so many ways it is a gift and provides resources,” she said. “However, it is important to have a balance in life and to make time for that connection with our kids no matter their ages.”

She said she does not know how many people have signed up so far.

According to NQCC’s website, participants can discontinue the text messages at any time by texting “STOP” to the number provided by the text. Participants can also modify and correct person information by sending an email to parenting@nqcc.org.

More information is available at nqcc.org.

You can reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 258.
On Twitter: @DomenicPoli