TEENAGE years can be tough, and as such the Western Trust has launched new materials to help parents support their children through this period in their lives.

Talking to your Children about Tough Issues (TATI) is a three session workshop for parents aimed at supporting parents and prevents problems as their children move toward adolescence.

Developed mainly to prevent alcohol misuse, TATI has been running in Northern Ireland since 2004.

Parents attending workshops have consistently said that they are worried about a range of "tough issues" their children face today. Based on parent's views and recommendations from an evaluation, new sessions have been added covering mental health and sexual health.

The initiative is being launched in conjunction with all five Health and Social Care Trusts and in partnership with Lisburn YMCA.

Eilish McCloskey Western Trust Health Improvement Department, described the development of these resources as a step forward to support parents: "Teenage years can be a challenging time for families. A key objective of TATI is to build parents confidence to influence their children's behaviour and attitude. What parents do matters. Parents can make a difference. TATI will compliment the range of work that so many people and organisations are doing to support families. Research shows that parents were the strongest influence on their children's lives." Training to deliver TATI will take place the first week of October in Antrim and Downpatrick to help expand the availability of the programme across Northern Ireland.

This training is open to individuals and organisations who have a role in working with parents.

Anyone interested in becoming a TATI trainer should contact the Western Trust's Health Improvement Department on 028 7186 5127.