World Health Organisation
What does the World Health Organization say about FRIENDS?
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Excerpt - World Health Organisation 2004 – Prevention of mental disorders: effective interventions and policy options: summary report (p42/43)
Enhancing emotional resilience and anticipatory education
“Another major strategy that has proven to be effective focuses on strengthening the emotional resilience and cognitive skills needed to avoid the development of anxiety disorders. A promising prevention of anxiety programme for children from 7 to 16 years of age is the Australian FRIENDS programme, widely used in schools, health centers, and hospitals. Based on an effective treatment programme for anxiety disorders, it has been translated into a prevention format and is available in universal, selective, and indicated prevention versions. FRIENDS is a cognitive-behavioural programme of 10 sessions that teaches children skills to cope with anxiety more effectively and builds emotional resilience, problem-solving abilities, and self-confidence. A controlled trial showed that the programme offered to children with pre-intervention elevated levels of anxiety symptoms reduced the first onset of a diagnosable anxiety disorder from 54% in the control group to 16% in the prevention condition in the six months following the intervention (Dadds et al., 1997). Controlled studies have also shown that when the programme was offered to universal school populations and to selected groups of children and adolescents at risk it resulted in a significant drop in anxiety symptoms (e.g. Lowry-Webster, Barrett & Dadds, 2001). FRIENDS is also implemented in Sweden, The Netherlands, and the USA.”