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WOMEN'S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Health and Empowerment of Women

At The I Can Centre™ we are passionate about the health, well-being and empowerment of women, incl those in crisis pregnancies and those who have become single parents. We are also very interested in women's health and well-being in mid- and later life, and in raising awareness of the challenges and potential that can come with the second half of life, incl making organisations age and menopause-friendly (see our AgeSpire project inspiring health and well-being through mid- and later years - click here).  

Accordingly, we have a number of projects in place / planned, to support and empower women at all ages and stages, e.g:

  • Emotional  and practical resources and supports  - see next section 
  • WHOW  groups (pronounced  "wow") - our Women Helping Other Women (WHOW) project brings proabortion and prolife women together to do what women do best - chat and collaborate respectfuly and towards a range of choices, supports, and resources for women in crisis pregnancies;  new members most welcome. 
  • Repair or DIY support* - a planned collaboration with local groups that we hope will help single mums,  while being useful for older adults as part of our AgeSPIRE project
  • Age-awareness and age-friendly training for businesses and organisations that challenges stereotypes and ageism, and instead enables potential of women, and men, at all ages and stages incl into later life (see our corporate section). 

Additionally, all our community courses are age- and child-friendly i.e. suitable for women of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.

Women Helping Other Women (WHOW): Crisis Pregnancies

At The I Can Centre™ we have grave concerns about abortion given our review of the evidence, our 20+ years experience working with women very distressed post-abortion, and our commitment towards equality, respect and non-violence, e.g. before the abortion the foetus is alive but afterward he/she is not. Instead, we raise the bar so that all young are welcomed, celebrated and resourced- by their fathers, our politicians and/or the wider local community?

We are also concerned with the divisive and disempowering "cant" language around abortion. Women in fact are strong and gutsy, and we CAN  juggle parenting with other interests and commitments to have a great future; and once resources and supports are in place (see some of those listed here with more to follow from our women-helping-other-women (WHOW) subgroup)

  • New WHOW members are most welcome. Do consider joining WHOW for respectful learning and collaboration towards supporting and enabling young women in crisis pregnancies and their families. Because #WomenDeserveBetter!  

Given the stress by definition of a crisis pregnancy*, many women report an understandable feeling of relief after abortion. Others however  can become actively distressed immediately, or decades later - we call this distress "Post Abortion Regret" and it can be very disabling but help is available. See Belfast Telegraph news article here.

  • For those who do have significant regret and distress post abortion,  we offer therapy. Therapy can begin at a general level by learning basic coping strategies via 1-1 CBT OR our low-cost/FREE community Stress Busters courses. Once feeling stronger/better, more in-depth and  pregnancy-loss-specific CBT support can be accessed in confidence. (See also other supports as needed incl your own GP.)
  • For those who do NOT report post-abortion regret or distress we are keen to understand why given the potential for transferability of insights and coping skills to others who are struggling.

* Our vision is that young women become so confident and so well resourced and supported that "crisis pregnancy" becomes a thing of the past.

Therapy / Practical Supports

Interventions for Low Mood / Anxiety / Low Confidence

We offer a range of community CBT supports to help women at all ages and stages address challenges of low mood, stress and/or all types of anxiety e.g. worry, panic, and low confidence.  This support can include free 1-1 CBT with one of our trainees (only at certain times/locations), AND DAKtivistplaces on our community courses, e.g. for lone mums, or those in crisis pregnancies, we can take an act-of-kindness pledge as part/full payment for a class.Furthermore, the more paying attendees we have, the more DAKtivist™  places we can offer. 

CBT for young people

We offer Mums a growing range of supports to help them and their young with low mood and all types of anxiety incl worry, panic, phobias and OCD.  For instance "Teen Stress Busters" is particularly suitable for school-going young people aged 14-18 years, and  DAKtivist™ places may be available to lone parents for their children.  1-1 CBT support however may be more suitable for young people with more complex needs. 

Recycle Club for Lone Parents

We collect quality, children's items that our clients no longer need, e.g. toys and clothing. These are then redistributed via community organisations to help lone parents. These items do make a huge difference to the lives and well-being of lone parents and their children, especially at holiday times.

Please note: it is our policy NOT to donate individual items to individual parents. Instead all items are logged, and then given directly to organisations who are better positioned to use these as part of a wider package of resources and suppor

Great Badges .com

GreatBadges.com is a new, social development initiative that we hope will provide jobs and flexible work opportunities for lone mums. By coming together to make the badges, mums might also find peer support and camaraderie, while making really great badges that are inspiring, fun and informative, i.e. great badges that are great in terms of content and also quality. We are very proud to support this prolife initiative, and to help sell these badges until the group is in a position to have their own website.  More about this initiative we hope will follow shortly and asap.

Feel Great Gifts and Crafts

 Having problems remembering those affirmations? Bring them into every day, with our witty and humorous, feel-great psychology gift range.  FeelGreatGifts.com is another pro-all abilities initiative that we hope will provide jobsand opportunities, particularly for single mums and adults with disabilities, while also bringing smiles to faces and helping people feel really great. 

A Kinder Society

The I Can Centre is a social development initiative towards "A Kinder Society". To that end we also offer a range of clothing, office and home reminders for DAKtivists and others sharing this vision.  We hope that these goods will act as reminders and reinforcement for kindness across all community groups; while also creating jobs and helping us provide low cost or free interventions to families incl our community based CBT Stress Busters course.  Together we CAN create better. 

EXTERNAL SUPPORTS:

Crisis Pregnancy 

  • LIFE NI is the leading pregnancy care charity in Northern Ireland set up in 1980 to provide practical care and support for those facing unexpected pregnancy, or needing help during pregnancy or after having a baby 
  • Stanton Healthcare Belfast offers a range of free and practical supports incl free pregnancy tests, counselling, ultrasound referrals, baby supplies and financial support. 
  • Gianna Care offers a range of free resources and supports throughout Ireland incl ultrasound, baby equipment and financial help. 
  • Both Lives Matter provides advocacy support and information towards the well-being of mothers and their infants. 

Parenting Supports and Information

  • NSPCC for advice on issues to do with children / young people 
  • Childline for telephone support and information accessed directly by children. Call free on 0800 1111
  • CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) for advice about online sexual abuse  / grooming 
  • Home Start for parenting advice, support and friendship, especially with younger children
  • Sure Start  provides support services to parents with children  aged under four years old, living in disadvantaged areas in NI (click here)
  • Parening NI offers free, confidential parenting support and advice on 0808 8010 722 
  • Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy to understand information on online safety. 
  • Samaritans offers 24X7 listening support by phoning 116 123 in NI / RoI

Supports into Mid- and Later Life

  •  U3A (University of the Third Age) is a movement of retired and semi-retired people who come together to continue their educational, social and creative interests 
  • Active Retirement Ireland
    is a national network of groups that stand up  for older people,
    empower them and support them to get the most from their retirement.  
  • Linking Generations NI aims to bring generations together in order to build communities for all ages 
  • Age Friendly Ireland aims to create an inclusive, equitable society in which older women, and men, can live full, active, valued and healthy lives