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Breathe

A free mental health masterclass series for families of children living with type 1 diabetes

Breathe

A type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis can be overwhelming and comes with a lot of uncertainty, opening up many new challenges when raising children.

Mental health expert Angie Manzke has built a mental health program for parents of children with T1D. The program is a masterclass in mental health and coping strategies for life with T1D, and is split into two cohorts for parents of children aged 0-12 and teenagers aged 13+.

Over 4 weeks, Angie’s program will:

  • allow you to meet other parents and find connection and support
  • teach you how parents can be attuned to their own emotional regulation needs and their child’s as they navigate the highs and lows of diabetes
  • help reduce feelings of chaos in the family and create a home that is nurturing for everyone
  • add some more valuable skills to your parenting tool belt and discuss emotions linked to diabetes.

If the parent feels supported, the whole family thrives.

 

Sign up for our next Breathe program intake

If you’d like to sign up for the full Breathe program, or get on the waitlist for the next one, complete this form.

Each intake is limited to 30 spaces.

We thank you for your patience as we sort through applicants and organise new program commencement dates.

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Program structure

The sessions will create a space for parents to connect with each other about having a child with type one diabetes and parenting. It will be a support group where you can learn from each other. Each week there will be a topic that Angie will teach, followed by a discussion within the group.

I’m a parent or carer of a child aged 0-12 years

I’m a parent or carer of a teenager aged 13 years +

Weekly session content (0-12 years):

Week 1: Helping my child to regulate big emotions

Learn how understanding a child’s brain development can help you with your parenting. We will discuss how the brain is in different stages during a melt down and what to do when at each stage. This will be a helpful skill during diabetes management.

Week 2: Learn how to read my child’s behaviour and find connection

Children give us clues to their feelings through behaviour because they don’t always know how to find the words. Managing diabetes is so hard for a child so they may express it in behaviour’s that overwhelms the whole family. We will discuss tips on how to read them, connect instead of arguing and create a good foundation for future misunderstandings.

Week 3: Teaching children mindfulness and how to overcome fears

We will discuss how to teach children to slow down their busy minds and calm their body. We’ll explore a method called ‘Detective Thinking’ that helps reduce anxiety and get them to try new things such as giving injections and changing pump site independently.

Week 4: Parent wellbeing – Connecting with yourself and your support network

Together we will discuss how parenting a child with diabetes can cause anxiety and pressure on our relationships. This will be an opportunity to hear how others have overcome these stressors and we’ll learn the importance of looking at your own and your support network’s strengths to shift mindset.

Weekly outline session content (13 years +):

Week 1: Understanding my teens brain and how to resolve conflicts

Learn how understanding a teen’s brain development can help you with your parenting. We will discuss how the brain is in different stages during a conflict and what to do to engage them. This will be a helpful skill with trying to balance independence with diabetes and support.

Week 2: Peer orientation and how it affects our relationships with our teens

Are you finding your teen is more interested in friends? Do you find it hard to get them to listen to you? Are you worried about your connection with them? Its not uncommon for parents with teens to feel left out and unsure what’s happening in their inner worlds. Understanding attachment development and the dynamics diabetes plays on this individualisation process can help you find that connection again.

Week 3: How to help your teen fight against anxiety

Anxiety is very prevalent today and even more so when you are juggling a chronic illness like diabetes. Anxiety can be fleeting or crippling. We will share skills and give you worksheets that will give you the tools to help your teen. Hearing from other parents with teens can make you feel like you are not alone on this journey.

Week 4: Parent mental health – Improving your relationships and looking after your mental wellness

Together we will discuss how parenting a teen with diabetes can cause anxiety and pressure on our relationships and our own mental wellness. This will be an opportunity to hear how others have overcome these stressors and I will teach the importance of looking at your own strengths to shift mindset and how to prioritise your mental health.

More about Angie

Angie has worked in paediatric diabetes for 10 years at a children’s hospital in Sydney, and is the founder of Reflective Haven, a counselling service for diabetes. She is a social worker and child psychotherapist with a masters in mental health, and has been a crisis counsellor on Parentline and Kids Helpline.

Angie has written several resources for diabetes, including a children’s book, and has been a international and national speaker on diabetes and mental health.

As a parent herself, who knows the realities of parenting, Angie enjoys using art and play therapy to help children express themselves.