LifeSkills is a highly effective evidence-based prevention and early intervention programme for children aged 8-14 years. LifeSkills concentrates on a preventative approach which shares age appropriate information with young people, providing them with skills, knowledge and experience necessary to make healthy choices.
Rigorous evaluation over four decades in the US have found that LifeSkills can reduce the prevalence of smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs by up to 75% with long lasting effects of up to 12 years. It is the most evaluated substance misuse programme in the world.
The US teaching manual and student resources have been adapted for UK context and successfully delivered by Barnardo’s in schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. UK evaluation of LifeSkills shows as well as preventing substance misuse, it also leads to important improvements in other core skills which are key for healthy development amongst young people. These include self-esteem, communication, social skills and ability to cope with stress. Teachers highly recommend the programme and report on LifeSkills impressive fit with curriculums across the UK. Implementing this programme will improve student’s skills, knowledge and resilience helping children and young people live happier healthier lives.
The programme was developed by Dr Gilbert J Botvin, professor of Public Health & Psychiatry at Cornell University where Dr Botvin is director of Cornell’s Institute for Prevention Research.