Since COVID-19, almost 60 percent of parents have noted behavioural changes in their children, ranging from outbursts or extreme irritability to drastic changes in mood, behaviour or personality, altered sleeping patterns, persistent sadness and more.

M.I. understanding, in partnership with five London organizations, has developed a new online program for families to help children build resiliency. The “MI friends” program provides children with a comfort toy (named Poppy), while connecting families to an online video/activity program, giving parents strategies, tools, resources, and suggestions on how to support their child as they learn to self-regulate.

Poppy’s role is to help families develop strategies, start a conversation, and bridge the gap to care with tools to strengthen educational and medical support. Poppy also helps community organizations working with families to provide care in the moment to children on long wait lists, and families isolated by the pandemic.

The program was developed with the experts at The Mary J. Wright Child and Youth Development Clinic at Western University and will drive future research and development around children’s mental health. Thanks to our partnership with the Kids Mental Health Optimist Club of Canada, The Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation and community partners, this program is available to families at no cost.

M.I.understanding facilitates early intervention and increases awareness and understanding, providing more families with tools and resources to raise healthy and resilient children.

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