Frequently Asked Questions

Our Programs

The FRIENDS Programs are a suite of evidence-based, social and emotional skills programs aimed at building resilience of individuals and families across the lifespan. The FRIENDS Programs are the only programs endorsed by the World Health Organisation as best practice for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression.

The Programs are broken down into four age-appropriate modules:

Fun FRIENDS (children between 4 and 7 years)
FRIENDS For Life (children between 8 and 11 years)
My FRIENDS Youth (for adolescents between 12 and 15 years)
Adult Resilience (for everyone over 16 years)

What does FRIENDS mean?

“FRIENDS” is an acronym used throughout each of the programs. The acronym itself represents the strategies and skills that individuals can use to effectively manage anxiety:

F – Feelings
R – Remember to Relax
I – I can do it! I can try my best!
E – Explore solutions and Coping Step Plans
N – Now reward yourself! You have done your best!
D – Don’t forget to practice!
S – Smile! Stay calm and talk to your support networks

Why the FRIENDS Programs?

In addition to being endorsed by the World Health Organisation, the FRIENDS Programs are proven to be effective in promoting social and emotional skills cross-culturally. The skill sets learned through FRIENDS are intended for long term use, and with occasional refreshers can be maintained for many years following the completion of the program.

Anxiety disorders are present within 20% of children and teenagers and may lead to inhibited personal development,  social isolation, academic underachievement and depression. This highlights the importance of using preventative mechanisms such as FRIENDS to equip individuals with the social and emotional skills necessary to manage and prevent anxiety.

What are social emotional skills?

According to The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) there are five core competencies of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs:

Self-awareness – knowing what we are feeling in the moment
Social awareness – understanding what others are feeling,
Self-management – handling our emotions thoughts and behaviours in effective ways
Relationship Skills – establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships based on cooperation, resistance to inappropriate social pressure, negotiating solutions to conflict and seeking help when needed
Responsible Decision Making – making decisions based on an accurate consideration of all relevant factors and the likely consequences of alternative courses of action