Parenting Classes Fresno Ca – Following Fresno County’s efforts to improve access to mental health care for adults and children, Brain Wise Solutions and Every Neighborhood Partnership have partnered to offer Parent Café workshops.
These talk sessions have been successful as mothers and fathers have learned to deal with their own traumas in order to repair and heal broken marriages and family bonds.
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For Magdalena Barrios, the workshops were a godsend after dealing with mental health issues that negatively affected her marriage and her relationship with her children.
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“So when I came off the show, I realized that my house, my kids, my marriage, my life, everything revolved around me, and if I didn’t pay attention to it, it could all come crashing down.”
“During the Covid quarantine, it affected me a bit more because I developed postpartum depression,” Barrios said. “When I heard about the trauma assistance program, I told myself I had to go.”
As the mother of four other children, Barrios worried about being a mother and a wife who was too deeply depressed to pay attention to her children.
“My kids, they were taking online classes so they weren’t missing school, but if they had to go back to classes with a mom who slept all day, it wouldn’t pay attention to them, it would eventually affect them at school,” Barrios said.
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Barrios says she was close to divorce until she started coming on the show and then everything changed. Over the course of eight weeks of sessions, Barrios realized that she was not the only one dealing with past and present traumas, but that her husband was also dealing with his own.
Barrios slept all day and cried a lot, but going to the sessions gave him a chance to talk about his struggles and trauma. She then urged her husband to address his mental health issues.
Now, according to her, she has her own psychologist, her own appointments, and she is learning not only to talk about her problems, but also to deal with them in a healthy way.
Barrios says he takes everything he learns in the classroom and talks about it at home with his kids and partner.
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“I slowly started to change my attitude and my body started to change,” she said. “I didn’t feel tired anymore, I started to have more energy and I didn’t need a lot of sleep anymore and I also wanted to exercise. I believe that the mind has a lot of power over our body. When I told my mind that everything will be fine, so did my body to feel this relief.
Magdalena Barrios participated in a Parent Café pilot workshop that helped her cope with postpartum depression and childhood trauma. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)
ENP Lead Community Health Promoter Susana Pinal helps facilitate the workshops. He says the pilot sessions have helped many parents.
“Each participant who came to the training or the program not only benefits them, but changes the way they interact,” Pinal said. “It’s the most beautiful thing.”
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One thing Pinal wants parents to learn is that recovering from past trauma can help break the cycle of bad behavior their children may recognize from their parents.
ENP Lead Community Promoter Susana Pinal helps facilitate the workshops and says the pilot sessions have already helped many parents cope with their trauma.
Unlike Handle With Care, a trauma-informed mental health program for children, Parent Café focuses on making parents more resilient, said Jason Williams, co-founder of Brain Wise Solutions.
Kaiser Permanente also received a $50,000 grant from ENP to help build community resilience and trauma-informed behaviors by offering resident-led workshops.
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“Finally, there was space for moms and a couple of dads to really say I’m so tired and I need so much help,” Williams said. “To be the creator of something that moves enough that people say we want more, we see value in that. It was good.”
To date, three pilot workshops have taken place with 99 participants: an African-American church community workshop, a Hispanic workshop, and a community-based group workshop. Three more are planned for the next two months.
“So the Parent Café is part of the Handle With Care process,” says Jason Williams, co-founder of Brain Wise Solutions. “It’s an eight-week parenting class, but we never call it a parenting class because it’s really supposed to be a conversation around the kitchen table.”
Jason Williams, co-founder of Brain Wise Solutions, works with the Every Neighborhood Partnership to provide mental health curriculum through Parent Café workshops. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)
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While Parent Café workshops are currently held in the ENP offices, Williams hopes to acquire a building large enough to offer additional programs for parents in addition to mental health.
Williams envisions a wellness center where families and youth can come to terms with their trauma by learning to rebuild relationships and resilience.
“I’m trying to raise money to build the Brain Wise Solutions Wellness Center,” Williams said. “There’s an apartment complex down the street, it’s a pretty rough place, but it’s perfect for us. I’d love to bring those neighbors to our health center so parents can participate in the cafe.”
Williams said the center would offer parenting exercise classes, activities, yoga, meditation and other resources to help parents build positive relationships with their partners and children.
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To raise money for Brain Wise Solutions’ new wellness center, visit the GoFundMe page here or the website here.
Liz Juarez joined GV Wire in July 2021 as a digital news producer. He has experience working for Central Valley publications including the Clovis Roundup, the Porterville Recorder and the Hanford Sentinel. In college, he worked for Mountain West Athletics and served as director of outreach for Fresno State’s Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Liz earned her BA in Media Communications and Journalism from Fresno State and her MA in Communications from Arizona State University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, drawing and being active by playing basketball, going on trips to the coast and visiting national parks. You can contact Liz at liz.juarez@
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