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Health unit connecting with parents on social media

PHU new parents page to share parenting tips
The Porcupine Health Unit on Pine Street South. Andrew Autio for TimminsToday

The Porcupine Health Unit now has a Facebook page called PHU Parents, dedicated to supporting all parents in the area.

“Every parent has questions or needs parenting support at one time or another,” says Meagan Potvin, a public health nurse at the Porcupine Health Unit. “PHU Parents will provide current, up-to-date information to help parents make choices that work for their family. It will also allow a place for parents to learn from others in a safe, non-judgmental setting.”

“In the past, the Porcupine Health Unit used newspapers and radio to connect with parents,” says Bobbie-Jo Duquette, a public health nurse at the Porcupine Health Unit in Kapuskasing. “What we have heard recently from parents is that they want to find information about parenting topics and our services through social media.”

Several health units were contacted to identify successes and challenges regarding social media. They all recommended Facebook as the ideal social media platform to reach parents.

Every business day, nurses from the Growing Healthy Families Program at the health unit will post a new parenting tip and allow for parents to comment and provide their own insight. Public health nurses will also be available for direct messaging to answer general questions around parenting topics.

“I hope that our topics will generate lots of discussion between parents,” says Potvin. She said that giving parents a voice was an important consideration when designing the program. “We know parents are the best people to decide what works for their families.” She adds that nurses will provide the most up-to-date information to help parents make knowledgeable choices in the context of their own values and preferences.

“I would like to invite all parents to visit our PHU Parents page and join in on some interesting and informative parenting chats,” says Duquette.

The PHU Parents Page can be found here.

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, Ontario, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.