New app to help Australian parents care for kids’ mental health
A new free app will help overcome the mental health challenges, including anxiety, that children can experience when their routine is broken or when staying away from their parents.
While I’m Away App
While I’m Away – launched by infant and child mental health organisation Emerging Minds – will limit disruptions to children’s care that can make them anxious, affect their ability to concentrate, impact their mood and make sleeping difficult.
How ‘While I’m Away’ Works
The app enables parents to create unique profiles for each of their children, then assign a caregiver to each child, such as a grandparent, friend, babysitter or other family member.
While I’m Away then guides parents through a series of questions, capturing the most important information about their children for each profile, including key people, daily routines, interests and hobbies, and health and medical information.
Nominated caregivers can download the app to access the child’s information, view care plans and keep updated on changes to plans in real time. Parents can also email or print a PDF copy of the care plans to give to caregivers who don’t have access to a mobile device.
Limit the impact of extended separation from parents
Director of Emerging Minds, Brad Morgan, says parents can use the app to limit the impact of extended separation from parents and reduce the potential for children to develop lasting fears and anxieties.
“It is common for children to experience mental health difficulties when they are separated from a parent or spend extended time with someone who isn’t their primary caregiver,” Mr Morgan said. “However, these difficulties aren’t often recognised as mental health concerns. They can instead be misunderstood, interpreted as behavioural issues or dismissed as intentional actions. We often hear children labelled as ‘naughty’, ‘defiant’, or ‘a worrier’ when it’s actually separation from their parent that’s affecting their wellbeing.”
While I’m Away can be used by many parents including those who need to go into hospital, who travel for work or leisure, and parents whose children spend weekends with an ex-partner.
It will allow parents to continue to support their child’s mental health and wellbeing even when separated for extended periods.
The While I’m Away app is available for free download now on the Apple app store or via Google Play.
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