Educational or Curriculum
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FRIENDS Programs

Initiative Description: FRIENDS for Life, a school-based prevention program for children with anxiety or depression symptoms. The program teaches children how to recognize symptoms of anxiety or depression, how to relax, how to act when a problem arises, positive self-talk, graduated exposure to feared situations, and to reward oneself after trying rather than focusing on succeeding. Pairs of prevention workers from a local mental health organization implemented the Dutch translation of FRIENDS for Life at elementary schools. The intervention consists of 10 group sessions and 1 booster session, 1 month after the program has finished. Each session lasts 90 minutes.

Study Results:Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reference: Kösters, M. P., Chinapaw, M. J. M., Zwaanswijk, M., van der Wal, M. F., & Koot, H. M. (2015). Indicated prevention of childhood anxiety and depression: Results from a practice-based study up to 12 months after intervention. American Journal of Public Health, 105(10), 2005–2013. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302742

Level of Evidence: 2 out of 5 stars Good