Professor Matt sanders
17 May 2017

An international parenting program developed at The University of Queensland is featuring in United Kingdom election campaigning.

The UK Centre for Mental Health has proposed the next Government make evidence-based parenting programs such as the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program developed at UQ widely available to UK families.

Triple P founder and director of UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre, Professor Matt Sanders, said the call to make evidence-based support for families more accessible should be supported by Australian policy makers.

“Governments around the world are starting to recognise the need to address mental health through proven early intervention and prevention methods,’’ Professor Sanders said.

“But the important role that parenting plays in every individual’s health and wellbeing is currently not being recognised in health funding or planning in this country.’’

The Centre for Mental Health’s recommendations outlined an economic argument for the widespread availability of parenting programs across the UK, claiming that evidence-based parenting programs could generate a 300 per cent return on investment for government.

“The lifetime costs of conduct disorder have been estimated at around £275,000 (about $480,000) per case,’’ the centre’s policy document states.

“A very large body of evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of parenting programmes such as Triple P.’’

Calls for widespread availability of parenting programs were also made by the Mental Health Policy Group in its Manifesto for Better Mental Health.

The manifesto called on the next UK Government to give children a good start in life by helping families through evidence-based parenting programs.

“Children with serious behavioural problems have the poorest life chances of any group of young people,’’ the manifesto states.

“Yet evidence-based parenting programmes can be highly cost-effective and can improve the wellbeing of the whole family as well as the life chances of their children.

“We call on the next Government to commit to invest, across the nation, in parenting programs for families who need them.’’

Media: Paddy Hintz, p.hintz@uq.edu.au, 0431 706822.