The Parent Rooms began in 2014 as an informal online peer support group started by Michelle Bradley who, at that time, was struggling with postnatal anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
In June 2019, after five years of providing informal online peer support to over 700 parents across NI, The Parent Rooms (then known as We Are Pangs) incorporated as a charity to develop and grow a safe, accessible, and regional peer support network across Northern Ireland for parents experiencing mental health difficulties.
We now provide programs and courses for parents to take part in either alone, or with their babies including sensory workshops, baby massage, and antenatal education.
Just as we finished training our first cohort of volunteer peer supporters, the global pandemic hit and we all went into lockdown. But that didn’t stop us, we were on a mission!
We moved our peer support group online, delivering one weekly video each week. Within a few short months we began to receive lots of requests for support from parents, and professionals who were supporting parents.
As demand for our service rapidly increased, we began looking for other ways to help. We began delivering wellbeing programs to teach parents coping skills and helping to build resilience so that they could take control over their own recovery.
We’ve had over a thousand parents reach out to us for support so far and that number is rapidly growing as pressures on parents continues to mount and access to timely and appropriate mental health care is difficult.
We have currently changed our way of working to a new three-step model called Engage.Evolve.Empower. This model is aimed at providing comprehensive, holistic mental health support that is parent-led, parent-centred, and puts empowerment at the heart of what we do.
We don’t rescue parents, we walk alongside them while they learn the tools and skills they need to live fuller, healthier lives within a safe and supportive community.
A regional circle of support that every parent across Northern Ireland can access to improve their mental and emotional well-being and move into fulfilling and healthy lives
We are a circle of support for parents and their families as they emerge beyond personal struggles to lead full and healthy lives.
We do this through: