SANTA ANA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To help support a growing number of OC children, parents and caregivers struggling with high levels of anxiety, fear and sadness, the Care Agency Mental Health and Recovery Services Health Organizations (HCA) have announced a summer campaign to support local children during the weeks away from school.
“It has become clear with the pandemic that parents need additional support and tools to help their children cope with anxiety and feelings of fear,” said Dr. Veronica Kelley, Chief Health Services Officer. mental health and recovery from HCA. “We want to empower parents to feel better equipped to help their families cope. The online Fear-Less Triple P program provides the timely mental health support we need today, and we are thrilled to make it available free of charge to all OC parents and caregivers.
The campaign directs families to a free online course on www.triplep.online backed by clinical evidence showing the best ways to help children break free from fear and anxiety. The problem of OC children suffering from anxiety, hopelessness and sadness is increasingly measured in stark terms, including pre-COVID research showing that 45% of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders do not receive treatment.1 The problem has gotten worse according to new research from the CDC.2 The Fear-Less online program is designed to help adults support the county’s estimated 400,000 children ages 6-14 who need new emotional and developmental tools to cope with anxiety.
“We know that children who learn the skills to manage anxiety are better students in the classroom; they’re in a better emotional space to take on the challenge of focusing their attention – and they’re in a better position to actually enjoy school and connect with their friends and teachers,” said Dr. Randy Ahn, OC’s local Triple P implementation consultant. “We believe that OC parents who take advantage of this free program will feel and see their own skills improve to raise confident and capable children – children who can energetically explore their world without being held back by fear.”
The online program is made possible by the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) who endorsed the clinical research that underpins the Fear-Less Triple P program: children’s fear and anxiety behaviors decreased when parents completed the course and practiced what they learned.
A UCLA Health Policy Research Center published in 2020 reported that 22.6% of Californian children ages 12 to 17 reported needing help with emotional or mental health issues such as feel sad, anxious or nervous.3
‘We have seen our children struggle with stress and anxiety in recent years, particularly due to the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders which have made it harder for them to spend time with friends and family’ said Meggan Lawrence, a parent of two teenagers at Rancho Santa Margarita. “What I’m learning from the Fear-Less program is how to better start conversations with my kids about these stresses – and it’s made a big difference for us.”
The strategies built into the Fear-Less Triple P online course are useful for entire families and can be viewed for free by OC residents at: http://www.triplep.online – The course is easily accessible on phone, computer or tablet and includes videos and interactive learning modules that only take a few minutes. Free online access to the program is made possible for 12 months and can be completed by parents and guardians on their own time, schedule and pace.
1 Ghandour, RM, Sherman, LJ, Vladutiu, CJ, Ali, MM, Lynch, SE, Bitsko, RH and Blumberg, SJ (2019). Prevalence and treatment of depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems in American children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 206, 256-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.09.021
2 CDC. (2022). Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey (ABES): https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/abes.htm
3 UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (2020). California Health Interview Survey. https://www.kidsdata.org/topic/783/mental-health-problems/table#fmt=1198&loc=2,127,1657,331,1656,171,1655,345,357,324,369,362,360,337,364,356,217,328,354,320,339,334,365,343,367,344,355,366,368,265,349,361,4,273,59,370,326,341,338,350,342,359,363,340,335&tf=127