Workshop Helps Parents Address Teenagers’ Tough Issues

NEW workshops addressing mental and sexual health to help parents support their children through their teenage years has been launched by staff across the five Health and Social Care Trusts along with Lisburn YMCA.

Ed Sipler, Health Development Specialist with the South Eastern HSC Trust, Lisa McCloy and Sharon Dickson, Lisburn YMCA, working on Tough Issues.

Talking to your Children about Tough Issues (TATI) is a three session workshop for parents providing support and help to prevent problems as their children move toward adolescence.  Developed mainly to prevent alcohol misuse, the program has been running in Northern Ireland since 2004.

Parents who have attended TATI workshops have consistently said that they are worried about a range of “tough issues” their children face today.  Following suggestions from parents and a detailed review, new sessions covering mental health and sexual health materials have been added.

Ed Sipler, Health Development Specialist from the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust described the development of these resources as a step forward to support parents.  He said: “The teenage years can be a challenging time for families. These workshops are not a magic answer. What they do is give ideas to parents they can build on. It will complement the range of work so many people and organisations are doing to support families.”

Many parents have said that the programme was a real help, particularly in dealing with older children. Peer pressure and external pressures are areas that as a parent you cannot quite get on top of, but, as a result of the program it provides more confidence.

For information on how to attend the workshops in the South Eastern Trust area, contact Lisa McCloy, TATI Co-Ordinator, Lisburn at or Tel: (028) 9267 0918