For us at Mellow, where we design and train a range of attachment-based programmes that traditionally take the form of physical support groups, lockdown and social-distancing was clearly going to be an obstacle.
At Mellow, we fully believe in the importance of strong nurturing relationships. Not only between parent/carer and their children, but also between professionals who work with families, and those professionals who in turn gain support from us.
We had many early years’ workers, midwives, health visitors, social workers contacting us asking if they could continue their Mellow Groups online, or individually. Although initially averse from straying from face-face groups that build relationships, trust, self-confidence, parenting skills and a reduction in isolation, anxiety, and depression, we decided that doing nothing was not an option!
As everybody’s wellbeing was being tested, and it was absolutely crucial that we continued to reach and support the most vulnerable in society. It was for this reason that we began to adapt our programmes for online delivery.
Careful consideration took place to ensure that we preserved the core ingredients of what make Mellow groups so powerful; from the evidence-based session content to the thorough practitioner training and support. We also had the opportunity to incorporate the new possibilities that technologies can offer us, while appreciating their limitations. Listening to the contemporary advice and research around online delivery, we began to transform our programmes from something that previously could only be delivered physically in person, to something that was tailor made for a shared video-call.
At this stage we have already designed and delivered a variety of online programmes, which have seen positive feedback from both the parents and practitioners involved. Spurred on by these successes, we intend to continue adapting further ranges of programmes for online delivery.
This all also has significance for beyond COVID; despite all of this being born out of an unexpected necessity, these online programmes now have the potential to reach new individuals and families that perhaps would have struggled to engage with the physical groups in the past. Whether this was due to remote locations, time or financial restrictions (both for parents and services), or simply a person feeling more comfortable in their own home environment, we envisage Mellow online programmes making a meaningful difference to a new scope of people.
The added bonus of Mellow online programmes is the cost factor, as it will be much more viable for services to deliver, as no venues, catering, or travel expenses are required.
Online training to help parents understand and connect with their baby before birth (antenatal)
Delivered over 7 group sessions online:
Training to help you support teens (14-18 yrs.)
A group programme specifically created for teens to support their mental health & wellbeing
Delivered over 12 group sessions online:
Online Going Mellow (0-5yrs): helping parents understand and connect with their babies/toddlers.
Delivered over 8 group sessions online: