Resilience Mentors

Lottery Funded LogoSalus has been funded, by Kent County Council, to offer Resilience Mentoring as part of the HeadStart Programme. The programme is available to identified schools in Thanet, Canterbury, Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.

The key aspects of the programme are:

  1. Salus accepts referrals for young people (aged 10-14) who are demonstrating that they have poor resilience or are unlikely to develop resilience due to the risk factors they face and the lack of protective factors in their lives.
  2. Salus offers a programme of Resilience Mentoring to those young people.
    • This involves offering a bespoke programme of support which includes
      a highly structured, evidence based programme that teaches the skills necessary to develop resilience (e.g. improved communication, social skills, self-esteem, peer relationships, problem solving)
    • the opportunity to practice these skills in a supported way in their school or social environment
    • support to develop effective networks and support mechanisms in home, school and community
    • support to parents to understand resilience and their role in ensuring this develops for their children
    • referral to other agencies to offer family support as required
  3. The structured component of the programme is based on the evidence base of rigorously tested and evaluated models.
  4. Salus is working closely with both the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University to ensure that the programme is well evaluated and robust.
  5. For identified parents Salus are offering the Emotional First Aid (EFA) programme. This enables parents to develop their own emotional resilience and better understand the emotional needs of their children. This highly successful programme works most effectively with those parents who recognise that they want to be better able to support their children. These will be identified and targeted through the programme.

The Structured Programme

FRIENDS is an asset focussed programme that, through a 10 week intervention, offers a suite of opportunities to improve the resilience of children and young people. FRIENDS, which can be delivered in small groups or with individual, utilises behavioural, physiological and cognitive strategies; teaching children and young people practical skills to identify and manage their anxious feelings; to identify unhelpful anxiety increasing thoughts and to replace these with more helpful thoughts; and how to face and overcome their problems and challenges.

Developed by Paula Barrett, FRIENDS is recognised by the World Health Organisation for over 12 years of comprehensive research and as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children. Research demonstrates that the programme improves a participants social skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the ability to relax and regulate emotions.

Access to the programme

  • Referrals to the programme is via an Early Help Notification (EHN)
  • Schools may refer direct at the same time

More Information


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