April 06, 2012

Family Voices Celebrates World Health Day April 7 With Release of Health & Wellness 1-Pagers for Families

For information on "World Health Day," visit the World Health Organization web site.

Healthy kids have a better chance of becoming healthy adults and eventually healthy seniors. As Pauline Stitt, formerly of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, said in 1960:

"There is very little genuine perception that mature people come from small beginnings, that they've had a perilous passage every moment of the way. All the population, everybody of every age, were all at one time children. And they bring to their maturity and old age the strength and scars of an entire lifetime."

But parents, especially these days, are extremely busy earning a living - and rarely have time to read lengthy information about how to help their children be healthy. The 1-Pagers on important health themes are fun, to-the-point, and easy to digest. Although Family Voices was started in 1992 to support health for children with special health care needs, the organization is expanding into preventive health and wellness for all children and the creation of this series reflects this effort. The 1-Pagers are being developed as part of Family Voices' Project IMPACT program, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, which works with the "Bright Futures for Families" themes and materials. Leslie Carroll, Program Director for Project IMPACT, says:

"Being the mother of two grown children - one with special health care needs and one who has not required special health care services - I can personally say how much I would have appreciated having this type of fast, helpful, easy-to-use information when my children were young. So, I'm very excited to be involved with creating these types of resources for other parents."

The 1-Pagers focus on a subset of the ten themes developed by the Bright Futures program, including family support, child development, mental health, healthy food and eating, physical activity, oral health, healthy sexual development and sexuality, and community relationships and resources. They are being developed with input from grassroots family agencies around the United States that form the Family Voices network. Now they are being translated into Spanish, and the goal is to make these materials available to as diverse an audience as possible. Currently twelve 1-Pagers are available on six different topics, and the plan is to release a new 1-Pager on each of these topics at least bi-monthly through 2012.

Dr. Sophie Arao-Nguyen, Executive Director of Family Voices says:

"As more parents become aware of the need for simple, practical approaches to helping their children start out and stay healthy in life, they are seeking information that can support this effort.  Twenty-one years ago when my son was born with autism, this type of information was very hard to find. Our goal is to make it available for all parents to support the health and well-being of children everywhere."

The Family Voices 1-Pagers are available as free downloads on the affiliated web site, www.brightfuturesforfamilies.org

For more information contact:
Melanie Rubin, Director of Communications, National Family Voices
Cell: 505-261-3214