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Starling Community Services.

Connect Parenting Group and Bell Let's Talk Help Parents Manage Children’s Mental Health Concerns


Waterloo, January 27, 2016 - Parenting can be very challenging, infinitely more so when a teen is struggling with their mental health. With a $20,000 funding grant from Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, Lutherwood is expanding its pilot Connect Parenting Group program to help parents and guardians build healthier relationships with their teenage child, support their child’s mental health needs and access other community services as required.

Connect Parenting is a 10-week program that brings up to twelve parents and guardians together to learn parenting skills best suited to the unique needs of children with serious mental health concerns. This specialized parenting program, developed by Dr. Marlene Moretti Professor at Simon Fraser University, focuses on building knowledge and skills that form the foundation of healthy parent-teen relationships. These relationships and the healthy dialogue help reduce the mental health stigma teens experience and make them more likely to access services before problems become more difficult to treat.

“We have seen the effectiveness of this program in other communities and in our own recent pilot,” said Aaron Stauch, Program Manager at Lutherwood. “We are very grateful for the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant which supports one-time startup costs, such as training the trainers and hiring staff, which will enable us to serve up to 75 parents and children this year.”

“Bell Let’s Talk is very proud to support Lutherwood’s Connect Parenting program to help parents support the mental health needs of their children,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let's Talk. “The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund supported 55 organizations in 2015, in every region of the country, all of which are making a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness, and the family and friends who support them. Over the last 5 years, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has invested more than $5 million in hundreds of community programs and services that improve access to mental health care.”

Connect Parenting Group is a Front Door program that will add to the community’s capacity to help parents and guardians establish positive relationship with their teens who have serious mental health concerns, and access appropriate community supports.

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day

The 6th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day is today, January 27. For every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell Canada customers today, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day image at, Bell will donate 5 cents to support Canadian mental health programs.

Bell’s donations are made at no extra charge to Bell Let’s Talk Day participants, though normal long distance or text charges, if any, apply.

The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk and Bell Let's Talk Day, and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit

Front Door is a one-stop first contact for families who are looking for child and youth mental health assistance and services. Located at 1770 King St E. in Kitchener, the office can be reached at 519-749-2932.

Lutherwood is a not-for-profit health and social service organization that supports youth with mental health issues, people at risk of being homeless, workers looking for employment and families in need of counselling. Its services are accessed by more than 15,500 people annually in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. For more information visit:

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated, passionate, and talented individuals across our divisions during my career at Lutherwood. I am excited to continue to be a part of our evolution as an agency, ensuring we represent the community we serve and inspire hope by being a welcoming space of belonging for all.”