FRIENDS is an evidence-based, anxiety prevention and resiliency program for children and youth this is delivered by teachers to students in the classroom. In BC, there are 3 program levels; Fun FRIENDS for Kindergarten and grade 1 students , FRIENDS for Children for grade 4 and 5 students, and FRIENDS For Youth for grades 6 and 7 students.
FRIENDS teaches children important life skills such as identifying feelings, how to relax, how to think in helpful ways, how to face fears, how to problem solve, and much more. The Ministry of Children and Family Development operates this school-based program, providing teacher trainings and classroom program materials.
The FORCE Society for Kids’ Mental Health is a parent organization in British Columbia that advocates, engages, educates and supports parents and families regarding children’s mental health. In 2005, the F.O.R.C.E. advocated to have parents be involved in the FRIENDS For Life program and provide parents with further opportunities to learn the FRIENDS skills their children were being taught in the classroom, so that parents could reinforce the skills at home. Since this time, the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development FRIENDS Program has partnered with the FORCE to coordinate and lead the B.C. FRIENDS parent component.
The F.O.R.C.E. believes that the lived experience of parents is a value added to this program. B.C. FRIENDS parent workshops and education in BC are led by the F.O.R.C.E. Parent Training team and there have been more than a thousand parents from all over the province, to date, who have participated in B.C. FRIENDS parent workshops and who continue to support FRIENDS program delivery in our BC schools.
We have learned over the years the importance and value of parents’ experiences, which is why we ensure that parents are involved in the delivery of the B.C. FRIENDS parent workshops and education in our province– so their expertise and experience can be shared with other parents. http://www.forcesociety.com