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ACCESS: Reducing Wait Times 

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends   
Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2012
Participants in the Janeway Family Centre’s Friends for Life program have true friends.
The Friends for Life Program
The Friends for Life program helps prevent the development of anxiety and depression in children and youth by teaching and promoting positive coping skills and increasing emotional resilience. The program has been adopted by the Mental Health and Addictions’ Janeway Family Centre and the Eastern School District.

According to Rhonda Shortall, clinical social worker with the Janeway Family Centre, it’s not unusual to feel anxious when faced with a difficult situation. The problem starts when an individual lets anxiety interfere with normal life experiences.

“We see this increasingly with children,” says Rhonda. “This program helps to prevent the development of anxiety and depression, and gives children the education and resources to help them live happier and more fulfilling lives while they grow.”

Friends for Life targets children aged 8 to 12, making it the ideal program according to the team; the Janeway Family Centre’s School Age Team gets a high number of referrals for anxiety-related issues, and childhood anxiety in this age group has also been identified as a serious concern for guidance counsellors and other educational staff.

Children aged 8 to 12 are also at the right stage in their cognitive development to understand and process the material taught in the Friends for Life program. 
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Updated Sep 25, 2012