Friends Resilience

Welcome to our new hub for sharing information, and to participate in our learning and communty programs for our social emotional wellbeing

Lady Musgrave Trust Forum 2019

Dr Paula Barrett presented her keynote as part of the Lady Musgrave Trust Forum during August 2019

Lady Musgrave keynote from Dr. Paula Barrett (2 minutes)

Friends Resilience Courses

The FRIENDS programs are Australian developed, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) based programs, endorsed by the World Health Organisation, as best practice for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression, promoting resilience in families, schools and communities.

The FRIENDS Programs are a suite of evidence-based, social and emotional skills programs designed to build life-long resilience in individuals, families, and communities. The FRIENDS Programs are 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

Ages 4 - 7

The Fun FRIENDS Program was developed by Dr Paula Barrett to help guide the social and emotional development of children aged 4 to 7 by using fun, play-based group activities. Fun FRIENDS nurtures the child’s development by teaching them to engage resilience early on, encouraging them to thrive and smoothly transition into school life.

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Friends For Life

Ages 8 - 11

FRIENDS for Life is a social skills and resilience building program that has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children aged 8-11. It is proven to reduce anxiety and provide participants with the tools to rise to life’s challenges, and make the most of setbacks and adversity. FRIENDS for Life also improves participants’ social and emotional skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the capacity to relax and regulate emotions.

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My Friends Youth

Ages 12 - 15

My FRIENDS Youth is a group-based program that equips participants with the necessary tools to overcome new challenges that are commonly experienced by the 12- to 15-year old’s.
This program empowers early-teens to deal with stressful situations by normalising the state of anxiety and teaching self-regulation by the “Emotion Thermometer” concept. It also develops self-confidence by arming participants with positive and creative strategies to problem solve challenges and setbacks in every area of their lives. My FRIENDS Youth is evidence-based and has been proven by research to decrease anxiety and depression in adolescents.

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Adult Resilience

Ages 16 - 18+

The Adult Resilience program provides positive coping and resilience skills for those aged 16+. The human brain is capable of constant change and it is never too late to learn new positive skills. The Adult Resilience program is also taught to parents to increase their resilience and coping skills and ensure that the FRIENDS “language” is be spoken at home. If the whole family participates, then everyone will flourish.

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Friends Resilience Games

Thumbs up or thumbs down
The FRIENDS Programs Game

Rising through Friends Resilience

The FRIENDS programs are Australian developed, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) based programs, endorsed by the World Health Organisation, as best practice for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression, promoting resilience in families, schools and communities.

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

How can FRIENDS help you?

One in five children and teenagers have an anxiety disorder. This may lead to inhibited personal development, academic underachievement, social isolation, and depression. The FRIENDS programs were developed to empower those undertaking the program with the skills necessary to not only manage and prevent anxiety but become engaged and thriving individuals.

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.

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) outlined 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.