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About Us and BC FRIENDS

Since 2004 the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has funded and led the FRIENDS program as a universal anxiety prevention effort in support of two provincial mental health plans in British Columbia. Program support, teacher training and student materials for use in classrooms is available to BC schools.  We first began with the launch of the FRIENDS For Life program for grade 4 & 5 students in 2004, followed by the FRIENDS Youth program for grade 6 & 7 students in 2008, and more recently in 2011 the Fun FRIENDS program for kindergarten and grade 1 students came to BC.

The Ministry of Education has launched its new Education Plan with a redesigned curriculum that has an emphasis on personalized learning and the education of the whole child by focusing on three core competencies across subject areas:  thinking, communication, and personal and social. FRIENDS aligns well with these three competencies

Since 2005, MCFD has partnered with The FORCE Society For Kids' Mental Health to deliver the parent component of FRIENDS, including parent workshops and online resources, as an effort to extend the program’s reach to parents and educate them about anxiety and the FRIENDS program so the program’s skills could be further reinforced at home.

BC has become one of the top leaders of ‘large-scale’ FRIENDS programming in the world and MCFD holds a formal training license and partnership with Dr. Paula Barrett, program author and founder of Pathways Health and Research Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Many other partnerships with schools, families and community partners have developed over the years and the success of FRIENDS in BC has truly been a collaborative effort by all. Click here for some key highlights.

In addition to its commitment to preventing anxiety in children and youth, MCFD is implementing a strategic initiative to build on the strengths of its Child and Youth Mental Health services.

For more information:

Download 'MCFD and the FORCE Society Partnership' pdf

Download 'FRIENDS in BC Schools' pdf

Download 'What is FRIENDS' pdf

Click here to go to Child-Youth website