The FRIENDS emotional health prevention programme
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- Stallard, P., Simpson, N., Anderson, S. et al. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2008) 17: 283. doi:10.1007/s00787-007-0665-5
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A universal cognitive behaviour therapy emotional health programme, FRIENDS, was provided in schools by trained school nurses to 106 children aged 9/10. Anxiety and self-esteem were re-assessed in 63 children one year after completing the programme. The significant improvements in emotional health identified 3 months after FRIENDS were maintained 12 month after completing the programme. Of the 9 children identified at baseline as high risk, 6 (67%) had moved into the low risk category by the 12 month follow-up. Of the low risk children, none had become high risk by follow-up. The study conclusions are limited by a small sample size and the absence of a comparison group. They are however consistent with previous studies and suggest that FRIENDS delivered in schools as a universal intervention can have a significant medium term effect upon emotional health.