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Programs to improve the adaptation skills of young people from elementary school onwards

The École branchée invites you to discover two school programs for primary school children Passeport: Equip for life and Friends of Zippy.

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École branchée invites you to discover two school programs for primary school children Passport: Equipment for life and Zippy's friends. Evaluated and offered on a non-profit basis, these programs improve children's adaptation and social skills to prepare them to face daily challenges and prepare them for adolescence.

Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the program Zippy's friends, intended for children aged 6 and 7, already existed. He is established in 32 countries around the world and more than a million children have participated.

Developed at CRISIS-UQAM and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the program Passport: Equipment for life is a new program that improves coping and social skills children from 9 to 11 years old. He made his debut in Canada (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba), Brazil and Belgium.

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Take up small challenges today to have big means tomorrow! This is the objective of the new school program developed by the Center for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia (CRISE) at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).

Supported by evidence, the Passport: Equipping for Life program improves the coping strategies and emotional skills of children aged 9 to 11 to help them better cope with daily challenges and prepare them for life. adolescence.

Learn to adapt to reduce stress and distress
One in five Canadians will be affected by a mental health disorder in their lifetime. Statistics also show that Canadians aged 15 to 24 are the age group most affected by depression and that 22 % of 13-18 year olds have thought about suicide in the past year.

Professor Brian Mishara from the Department of Psychology at UQAM is clear: “People who attempt suicide have difficulty adapting and cope less well with the challenges in their lives. The inability to respond well to problems increases the risk of suicide. Promoting good mental health is important! I dream that one day suicide prevention is no longer necessary because people will have the skills to overcome hardships without becoming suicidal. "

Indeed, people who have a greater repertoire of coping strategies have more resources to cope with stress, experience less long-term distress and cope better with life's trials.

The Passport: Getting Ready for Life program diversifies the adaptation strategies of children aged 9 to 11 to help them adapt to the difficulties they have experienced. By teaching these skills in elementary school, children learn to use them on a daily basis, feel more competent to deal with stressful situations and are therefore better prepared for adolescence and adulthood.

An evaluated and effective program
Developed at CRISE at UQAM under the direction of Professor Mishara and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Passeport: Getting equipped for life program has been evaluated in Quebec and Ontario with children and adults. 'teachers. The results demonstrate positive effects on children, the classroom climate and the conditions linked to educational success.

By improving children's emotional and coping skills, they are better equipped to manage stress, which is often responsible for learning difficulties and behavioral problems in elementary school. The program also stimulates empathy and mutual aid in children and fosters more satisfying relationships between them and with teachers, which are key factors in school success and perseverance.

Universal in scope, the program is aimed at all children without exclusion. Drawing on children's strengths, it teaches them to identify and assess for themselves coping strategies to cope with the challenges of friendship, injustices, change, grief and bullying.

Passport: Equipping for Life is based on the same foundations as the Les Amis de Zippy program for children aged 6-7 years, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and implemented in more than 30 countries . The two programs stand out for the relevance of the themes and the objectivity of their content. They are offered in English and French in Canada by CRISE.

Promising beginnings in Canada and Brazil
In addition to the 2,131 children who participated in Passport: Gear for Life from 2011 to 2014, more than 4,000 new children will participate in the program in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba in 2017.

In Manitoba, the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) has offered the program in all of its elementary schools since 2016 and, in Ontario, the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) is currently conducting a pilot and is planning its implementation in the fall of 2017.

Translated into Portuguese by a partner organization, the Passport: Equipping for Life program was implemented in 2016 as a pilot project for young adolescents in Brazil. The preliminary results are astounding and Brazilian stakeholders and media do not hesitate to present this program as an effective way to reduce self-harm among young people.

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