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StamfordhamPrimary School

‘Learning, Caring and Achieving Together’
‘Learning, Caring and Achieving Together’

*NEW CONTENT* The Friends Resilience Programme - wellbeing for our school community

What is FRIENDS?

The FRIENDS programmes 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 suite of FRIENDS programs (Fun FRIENDS, FRIENDS for Life, My FRIENDS Youth and Adult Resilience – Strong Not Tough) show effectiveness at post 12 months and 3 years, by reducing reported anxiety and depression symptoms and increasing resilience, self-confidence, self-efficacy, self-esteem and social emotional skills.


The Programmes have also been shown to improve peer relationships and positive attitudes towards learning and the school environment generally.

The programs have a firm theoretical and evidence basis. The theoretical model for the prevention and early intervention of anxiety and depression addresses attachment (emotions), physiological (body), cognitive (mind), and learning (behaviour) processes, which interact in the development, experience and maintenance of anxiety.


What does “FRIENDS” stand for?

FRIENDS is an acronym that helps children remember the strategies taught that can be used to effectively manage anxiety:

F = Feelings (empathy training and self-regulation)
R = Remember to relax (relaxation & mindfulness strategies)
I = I can try my best (changing unhelpful to helpful thinking)
E = Explore Coping Step Plans and strategies for finding helpful solutions (choosing thumbs up actions instead of thumbs down actions)
N = Now reward yourself for trying your best (choosing interpersonal rather than material rewards)
D = Don’t forget to practice (choose to use the FRIENDS skills and give back to the community)
S = Stay calm (values based role models and support networks)


Specific skills that are taught are based on the following principles:

  • Our body is our FRIEND, and tells us when we are feeling worried by giving us clues so that we can choose to think helpful thoughts and practise thumbs up choices.
  • We are FRIENDS to ourselves when we choose positive, helpful thoughts and thumbs up actions such as relaxation and mindfulness strategies
  • It is important to learn to be our own FRIEND and reward ourselves when we try our best.
  • It is important to think of our FRIENDS and values based role models/support networks when we are making choices about our thumbs up actions


Our full school staff has completed Friends Resilience training and is now a Licensed Partner; we rolled out delivery of the Programme in our school in September and are already seeing superb results!

Families can access some rather excellent, introductory Friends Resilience training materials, led by Miss McKinney and Mrs Gilbert, using the links below:


An intro to the Friends Resilience programme for families - Part 1


An intro to the Friends Resilience programme for families - Part 2