BC Council for Families Growing Together Toolkit and webinar training

Sponsored by the BC Council for Families, the Growing Together Toolkit is designed for community service providers who support mothers dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma or other challenging life circumstances. This new workbook style resource presents strategies for helping mothers suffering with life challenges build healthy relationships with their babies. The toolkit includes information on infant mental health promotion, education, screening, intervention and advocacy. It also includes parenting strategy handouts designed to be used with parents, parenting groups or community education presentations.

The Growing Together Toolkit complements the Mothers' Mental Health Toolkit and is available on the BCCF website.

The BC Council for Families is offering two training webinars to introduce community service providers to the toolkit and provide suggestions for implementing toolkit strategies and activities. The presenters are Joel Kaplan, ED, BC Council for Families; Lenora Marcellus, Assoc. Prof., School of Nursing, Univ. of Victoria and author of the toolkit; and Lea Laberge, Coordinator of Family & Seniors Programming, Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House.


Register: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 webinar, 3 pm Register: Thursday, February 26, 2015 webinar, 10 am

*A recording of the webinar will be made available on the BC Council for Families’ website.


The Growing TogetherToolkit notes that, “Mental health and substance use challenges and disorders in the perinatal period are particularly significant because they occur at an important time for the woman and her developing baby. …. Early detection and treatment can improve outcomes for mother, baby, and the whole family. A ‘whole system’ approach and a ‘family centered’ approach are effective ways to support families. .”

“Everyday Opportunity” handouts offering strategies for mothers with mental health and substance use challenges are available for download in the following subjects:

  1. Sleep & rest
  2. Routines & transitions
  3. Feeding
  4. Activity & Play
  5. Touch
  6. Communication
  7. Support & resources

There is also a downloadable resource compiled by the Parent-Child Mental Health Literacy Project offering a “Brief Scan of Selected Resources Related to Maternal and Infant Mental Health” with web links to a variety of BC, Canadian and International resources.