FRIENDS for Life is a social skills and resilience building program that is recognised by the World Heath Organisation for over 12 years of comprehensive research and as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children aged 8-11.
Anxiety is a common disorder, affecting over 20% of children in this age group. If left unattended anxiety can severely impact a child’s development which can create problems later in life. Anxiety can cause constant worry about things close to a child such as homework, attending school camp and even non-local events that appear on the news such as natural disasters or pandemics. This anxiety can detract from learning and have a severe impact on development.
FRIENDS for Life is proven to reduce anxiety and give participants the tools they need to cope in these stressful and challenging situations. Further to anxiety treatment, Friends for Life also improves a participants social skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the ability to relax and regulate emotions.
The structure of the FRIENDS for Life Program is a 5 session course, with each session taking between 2-2.5 hours depending on the activities chosen by the facilitator. To help participants remember the FRIENDS concepts, and to bring structure to the sessions we use the FRIENDS acronym.
FRIENDS for Life uses the FRIENDS acronym to help children remember the concepts they learn throughout the program.
- Feelings (talk about your feelings and care about other people’s feelings)
- Relax (do “milkshake” breathing, have some quiet time)
- I can try ! (we can all try our best)
- Encourage (step plans to happy home)
- Nurture (quality time together doing fun activities)
- Don’t forget – be brave! (practice skills every day with friends /family)
- Stay happy
FRIENDS for Life teaches participants to cope with their feelings and the feelings of others by training them to think more positively and to relax and regulate their bodies. FRIENDS for Life also teaches confidence and ways to tackle problems which helps build self-esteem as participants start to solve problems they would have previously shied away from. Most important FRIENDS for Life enables participants to be happy, smile and be brave which helps them transition more easily to their teenage years.
To find out more about the Friends for Life Program and become an accredited Facilitator please visit FRIENDS Resilience