Partners in Parenting Frequently Asked Questions
This page includes answers to some common questions about Partners in Parenting. If your question is not covered below, or if you need technical support, please complete this support form.
1. What is the Partners in Parenting program?
Partners in Parenting is an evidence-based parenting program designed to help build parents’ and carers’ skills and confidence to support their teenager’s mental health and wellbeing. The parenting strategies covered in the program are based on high-quality research and expert consensus on modifiable parenting factors associated with mood and anxiety disorders in adolescents.
2. Who is the program for?
The program is designed for adult carers of young people (aged around 12 to 18 or secondary-school age) who are interested in learning more about how they can support their young person’s mental health. This is not a strict age limit, and any carer will be able to access the program via their headspace account. However, it’s important to note that the Partners in Parenting content, and its evidence base, is intended for parents of adolescents.
The program is suitable for both prevention (i.e. the young person is not currently experiencing a mental health problem) or as an adjunct to treatment of a young person’s mental health problems like depression and anxiety (i.e. a resource for parents while the young person is also receiving support). Although the program has a focus on supporting mental health, a lot of the content covers more general parenting challenges that most parents of teenagers will encounter, for example communication, managing strong emotions, boundaries, conflict, and staying involved in the teen’s life while supporting their growing independence.
3. Is the program suitable for families of different cultural backgrounds (including First Nations, multicultural families)?
Although there has been representation of First Nations, multicultural communities across various design, development, piloting, and evaluation projects for PiP over the past 9-10 years, people from First Nations and multicultural communities have been underrepresented in evaluations of PiP to date (approximately 5-15%). This means that we do not yet know how effective the program would be specifically for families from these communities. The individual modules are based on widely accepted and evidence-based parenting strategies that support wellbeing in young people. Further consideration of parenting approaches in diverse communities, for example featuring collectivist approaches to parenting, are likely future enhancements to the program.
4. What are the plans for evaluating and continuing to improve the program for families of different cultural backgrounds (including First Nations, multicultural families)?
headspace is working with Monash University to explore the acceptability and outcomes of the program for families of various cultural backgrounds, by inviting adult carers from all Australian communities to take part in the program and evaluation. This will be really helpful in informing any future changes to the program content and/or the way it is made available. No harmful impacts of participating in the program have been identified. The modules are based on widely accepted and evidence-based parenting strategies that support wellbeing in young people. We are encouraging parents from all communities to read these FAQs and participate in the program if they choose. We are actively seeking to find out whether this program benefits people from diverse communities, and how the program can be improved in the future.
5. Is this program suggesting my parenting can cause my teenager’s mental health problem?
Absolutely not. There are many factors that contribute to a young person’s risk of mental health problems. Many of these factors are outside of our control, for example our genetics, biological sex, family history, personality, early life events, and many others. On top of these factors, there are some things that parents and families can do that either increase or decrease their young person’s risk of mental health problems. For this reason, parents are a great resource for young people–whether that be to reduce their risk of future mental health problems, or to support those who are already struggling. Rather than causing mental health problems, parents can help to build their teenager’s resilience against these problems. Partners in Parenting is designed to help parents do this.
6. How can I access the program?
You can access Partners in Parenting via your headspace online account. The program is entirely online and can be accessed from most devices and internet browsers (including smartphones).
7. What does the program involve?
- Partners in Parenting offers 10 interactive online modules on topics related to parenting and teen mental health, which can be completed at your own pace. Each module takes around 15-25 mins to complete.
- Optional online pre-program reflection questions which you can answer to get tailored feedback about your parenting strengths and areas you could work on, your parenting confidence, and your young person’s mental health. If you complete these questions, you will also be recommended specific modules. This part takes around 20-30 minutes.
- At the end of the program, you can choose to complete the follow-up reflection questions again, which will also provide feedback about your parenting skills, confidence, and your young person’s mental health, including how their anxiety and depression symptoms may have changed since starting the program (if you answered these same questions at the beginning). You will also have an opportunity to tell us what you thought about the program, to help us improve it. This part takes around 20-30 minutes, and is optional.
8. What do the modules include?
Each module covers a specific topic related to parenting teenagers and supporting their mental health. Modules include educational information, interactive activities, reflection questions, videos, quizzes, and a goal-setting exercise at the end of each module to help you put what you’ve learned into practice.
9. How long will it take to complete the program?
You can choose how many of the 10 modules you complete, and when, so the time it takes is up to you. Each module takes around 15-25 minutes to complete. We recommend completing one module per week, for around 1 to 3 months, to allow you enough time to put your learnings into practice. But it’s up to you–you will continue to have access to your program and can come back to it any time.
10. Do I have to complete all of the modules?
No, you can work through as many of the modules as you want, and at your own pace. If you don’t have time to complete a module, the program will save your progress so that you can return to it later.
11. Can I contact someone for support/questions when working through the program?
Our eheadspace clinicians will be available as usual to support you or answer any questions. You can contact us via your headspace account by phone, email, or online chat.
You can also raise a support request, including requests for technical support, by completing this form.
12. What if I need after hours or crisis support while I’m doing the program?
If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, contact mental health services or emergency services on 000. If you need to speak to someone urgently at any time, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
13. Who will have access to my personal data?
Data will be stored as per headspace and Partners in Parenting Terms and Conditions which you agreed to before accessing the program. Please refer to these documents for detailed information about how your data will be accessed and stored.
The specific responses you enter into the modules will not be monitored by headspace clinicians.
14. Will doing this program be enough to improve things for my young person?
There are many factors that contribute to a young person’s risk of mental health problems, and parenting is only one of them. Many factors, such as genetics, or previous life experiences, are outside of our control. However, there are also many things that adult carers can do to decrease their young person’s risk of mental health problems, and Partners in Parenting is designed to help parents learn and use these protective parenting strategies. Therefore, while doing this program cannot guarantee your young person’s mental health will improve, by applying what you learn in the program, you can increase the likelihood that their mental health will improve, and reduce their risk of developing further mental health problems in future.
15. Is it okay to tell my young person that I’m doing the program? How can I talk to them about it?
Yes, you can tell your young person that you’re doing the Parents in Parenting program or you can keep it private, it is up to you and what you think is best for your situation. You may wish to tell your young person that you are doing a parenting program to learn skills and strategies to support them with their mental health and wellbeing. When having this conversation, it may be helpful to show them some of the online content, so they have a better understanding of the topics covered by the program. Additionally, you might like to tell them that the program was developed with input from many Australian teenagers, and that any information you provide about your family as part of this program will be kept confidential.
16. When should I expect to see improvements if I do this program?
Partners in Parenting is designed to improve your confidence with being able to support your young person. Improvements in your parenting confidence can take time and will depend on your unique family situation, and so there is no single answer to this question. However, research has shown that parents who complete more of the modules and apply the strategies regularly, are more likely to see greater improvements in their parenting confidence. For example, choosing a goal from each module, and working on it during the week before your next module can increase the effectiveness of the program, so we recommend always trying to complete the goal setting activities at the end of each module.
17. If my young person is receiving support from a headspace clinician or other mental health professional, should I tell them that I’m doing this program?
If you and your young person are happy to share this information, there is no reason why you shouldn’t tell their clinician you are doing the Partners in Parenting program. Doing so may also help you to all be ‘on the same page’ when it comes to your approach to supporting your young person with their mental health.
18. Can I share this program with others (carers, clinicians, etc.)?
Yes, anyone with a headspace account, and has indicated they are supporting a young person in their account, is able to freely access the program. You are welcome to share the program with other members of your young person’s care team, as well as to recommend the program to others.
For technical support or for any other questions,