Roots of Empathy programme extended

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Sunday, December 16th, 2012
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has trained seven new instructors for its Roots of Empathy programme. This means that the programme, which promotes social and emotional understanding in Year 5 pupils, is now available in 22 schools across the area. Developed in Canada, Roots of Empathy centres around a parent and baby who visit the classroom throughout the year. Through an instructor, children observe the relationship between the baby and parent, following the infant’s development and celebrating milestones. The children are encouraged to learn and understand the baby’s perspective and reflect on their own feelings and those of others. The initiative has proven to help young people to better manage their emotions; reduce levels of bullying and aggression; improve relationship building and conflict resolution and; promote empathy. Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Trust explained, “This programme is a great example of how early intervention can help young people to better cope with their emotions and learn how to build positive, healthy relationships in preparation for the challenges they may face in adulthood.” The programme in Northern Ireland is supported and funded by the Public Health Agency and delivered by Health and Social Care Trusts in partnership with Education and Library Boards. For more information on Roots of Empathy in the Southern area contact Maureen McSorley, Senior Health Promotion Officer Tel: 028 3741 2763 or Email:  
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