Help for moms just a call away

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October 11, 2016 12:00 AM

Everyone needs a support system now and then and new mothers are no different.
The Province of Saskatchewan knows this, as the Parent Mentoring Program of Saskatchewan (PMPS) turns 20 this year, a longevity showing the need of connecting new mothers with supports in their communities.
The program, which got its start right here in the Prairie North Region, matches new moms in the community with volunteer mentors who help them find community resources and also offer company and chances to socialize for those who may not know many people in the areas they move to.
“I find a lot of the clients are just needing somebody to listen, they need another adult mom to, not necessarily be a friend—we don’t loan money, we aren’t a taxi—but we do help out moms in other ways, make good listeners and make suggestions that could improve their lives,” said Marion Filipowich, who runs the program in Lloydminster and also volunteers as a mentor.
“I think the biggest thing…someone they know is out there they can call, like lots of times a person just wants to talk….”
She said a lot of her clients start out confused by their situations when they first sign up for PMPS, but after six months or so they tend to become more independent and self-sufficient, which she said is a sign of the program’s success.
PMPS was first introduced in 1996 to 10 sites in the province under the name of the Successful Mothers Support Program before expanding to 16 more sites, including Lloydminster, in 1999.
It was renamed under its current moniker in 2006 and has been going strong ever since.
Another support program Filipowich runs out of the Prairie North Plaza that goes hand-in-hand with the PMPS is called Babies First, and provides useful information to moms and gives another avenue to socialize with peers who may be in the same boat.
“The moms show up Monday mornings and I sometimes bring in people from the outside communities like pharmacists, first aid specialists, registered psychologists and other speakers who inform about different things and speak to the moms,” she said. 
Filipowich said with many people moving out of town, however, the PMPS is short on volunteer mentors so anyone interested is strongly encouraged to volunteer.
Both programs are free of charge and anyone looking for a mentor, or looking to be one, can contact Filipowich by phone at 306-820-6236 or by text at 306-821-0307.

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