A Program for Teaching Students about Resilience and Addressing Anxiety and Depression

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The Friends for Life program, founded in 1990 in Australia by Dr. Paula Barrett, is designed to promote resilience and to prevent and understand childhood and adolescent anxiety and depression. This evidence-based program teaches youth resilience building and social skills, emotion regulation and understanding, positive coping skills, with the goal of increasing confidence in order to prepare them for life’s challenges.

The program is available in four levels: age 4-7 (“the Fun FRIENDS Program”), age 8-11 (“FRIENDS for Life Program”), age 12-15 (my FRIENDS Youth Program”), and age 16-18+ (“Adult Resilience Program”). In order to facilitate one of these training programs in a classroom, educators first must attend an eight-hour training session

Although the Friends for Life program was originally developed in Australia, the program has seen success in many other countries, including Canada (click here for the BC Friends for Life program), New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Mexico, the United States, Japan, and many more.