3rd class-Friends for life programme 2017

April 5, 2017

NEPS – National Educational Psychological Service

Parents/Guardians of 3rd Class pupils

5th April 2017

Re: Friends for Life Programme

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are planning to teach an evidence-based anxiety prevention and resilience building programme designed for use in schools. Designed by Dr Paula Barrett in Australia, the programme is designed to teach students the skills required to manage their thoughts, emotions and body responses to life stresses. The programme also seeks to develop self-esteem and teach coping skills in a simple and structured way. It is a positive, fun learning experience that does not require any clinical assessment or diagnosis and avoids labelling young people as anxious or different.

Friends for Life consists of ten sessions plus two booster sessions. During these sessions pupils are guided through a series of class-based activities which were built around the core themes of the programme. ‘FRIENDS’ is the only anxiety management prevention programme acknowledged by the World Health Organisation for its 12 years of comprehensive validation in schools and health clinics across several countries and languages. The programme meets many of the aims of the SPHE curriculum in terms of promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being in addition to providing pupils with opportunities for reflection and discussion. Your child may bring home worksheets which will inform you on the topics being covered in class and how you can reinforce the messages at home.

You can familiarise yourself with the FRIENDS programme at http://www.friendsresilience.org/friends-for-life-ages-8-11/

Please contact me if you wish to discuss the programme further or if you do not wish for your child to participate in the programme. The programme will be co-facilitated by Ms. Paula Doyle, Class Teacher and Ms. Helen Fitzgerald, Educational Psychologist, NEPS and will commence on Thursday 6th April 2017 during school hours. It will continue each Thursday for approximately one hour for ten weeks.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Niall Crofton