Mencap are offering the EPAtS family support programme in the Derry area

Download information poster

Take part in a parent support programme with Mencap in the Derry/Londonderry area and receive up to £60 worth of vouchers while helping with university research!

Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) is an 8-week family support programme for parents/caregivers who have a child aged 18 months – 5 years with additional developmental needs.

EPAtS has been designed by families and practitioners and provides support for parents’ wellbeing and their child’s development including support with sleep, communication and positive approaches to supporting behaviours that challenge.

Mencap is offering the E-PAtS programme in Derry City as part of a research trial, being led by University of Kent.

If you decide to take part in the trial, you will be randomly picked to either attend an E-PAtS group in February 2024, or in 12 months’ time.

To find out more please come along to one of our short information sessions

 All sessions are open to parents and practitioners. 

There will be a short presentation with time for questions and a cuppa

DATE – Wednesday 6th December

LOCATION – Mencap Office, 17-19 Bishop Street, Derry, BT48 6PR


10.15am – 10.45am

11.15am – 11.45am

7.15pm – 7.45pm

8.15pm – 8.45pm

Pick a time that suits you!

For more information or any queries please contact your local Mencap Family Support Co-ordinator,

Lisa McGrath


phone, text or whatsapp: 07542392957

Early Interventions to Support Well-being

Increasing help seeking – creating opportunities for the workforce and members of the public to engage in early interventions to support well-being:

Aim: To engage members of the workforce in the HSC and C&V sector and the public in early interventions to support well-being.

Target audience: adults across our communities (regional) and the workforce in the HSC and community and voluntary sector. As this is early intervention and low intensity work (self-help), it is not aimed at people with more severe mental health challenges.

The four interventions include:

  • Using Self Compassion to Improve Wellbeing and Support Growth
  • Bend Don’t Break: a low intensity CBT based self-help to support resilience.
  • Making Our Nevous System Work For Us – Using the Polyvagal Therory to Improve Well-being
  • Building our Children’s Developing Brain: aimed at parents to help build emotional regulation with their children.

Time scale

From September 2023 until March 2024, 9 psychoeducational workshops, have been organised via zoom to engage participants in the work. (see details)




Early Years Practice E News

As we move into the beginning of September many children are transitioning into new Early Years   settings. While this can be an exciting time for all, many can experience some challenges at this stage of transition. Children who make the move into a new setting will bring their own unique personal     experiences and individual levels of readiness

Megan McConaghy (Early Years Quality Mentor) and Karen Cooke (Senior Early Years Specialist)
from Early Years Organisation for Young Children, reflect on how these individual experiences must  be fully embraced and considered to ensure a smooth transition.

Early Years practice E News August 2023

Getting Support at an Early Stage

ASCERT, the South Eastern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts have been working together to bring support to people at a much earlier stage. We have created 3 on- line self-help resources to help people work on these common things that we all have at times.

They all have workbooks that can be downloaded and visual clips that guides the viewer through the workbooks at their own pace They are all free. All we ask is if you make use of them use the evaluation link on each on to tell us in they have been helpful.

  • Using Self Compassion to Improve Wellbeing and Support Growth Self Compassion | ASCERT
  • Bend Don’t Break: Low intensity CBT based self-help to support resilience

Bend-Dont-Break-30-May-2023.pdf (

  • Building our Children’s Developing Brain for parents to help build their children’s emotional regulation.

On- line workshops on Zoom between September 2023 and March 2024 will be held to create interactive ways to see what is in each resource and make use of them.  See registration links for September workshops.

To sign up for sessions from October 2023 to March 2024 see the training brochure from the Western Trust

Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Training Brochure | Western Health & Social Care Trust (