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ACCESS: Reducing Wait Times 

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends (2/3)   
Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2012

Do You Need Anybody? The Team Approach

Rhonda and co-worker Wanda Miller-Wadden, a clinical psychologist with the Janeway Family Centre, are in charge of implementing and running Friends for Life in schools throughout the region. They work with educational staff from participating schools - mostly guidance counsellors - to offer the program in a classroom setting. The idea is for the team to initially deliver the program in partnership with the guidance counsellor or teacher, and then for the guidance counsellors or teachers to continue the program on their own.

“It has been rewarding to work with principals, guidance counsellors and teachers to help deliver a program where change could be witnessed in children weekly,” says Wanda. “To actually hear from teachers about the changes in children who are attempting tasks that they would not have otherwise tried is absolutely heartwarming and inspiring.”

The Friends for Life program teaches children lifelong skills that increase their confidence and selfesteem in facing challenging situations.

These skills support them in coping with anxiety and often eliminate the need for specialist medical intervention.
 
Although still in the early stages, the program has witnessed results. “As the weeks progressed we witnessed the children becoming increasingly eager to talk about their successes with trying new skills,” Wanda explains.
Friends for Life
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Updated Sep 25, 2012