FRIENDS for Life is a social skills and resilience building program and has been recognised by the World Heath Organisation as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children aged 8-11. FRIENDS for Life, is proven to reduce anxiety and provide participants with the tools necessary to cope in stressful and challenging situations. Further to anxiety treatment, FRIENDS for Life also improves participants’ social and emotional skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the capacity to relax and regulate emotions.
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.
The structure of the FRIENDS for Life Program is a 5-session course. Each session takes 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, 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 facilitate a smooth transition to teenage years.
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