Resilience for Young People

Our curricula and programmes help young people to develop their resilience skills so they learn early that they can overcome difficulties and make the most of opportunities.

We like to think of it as enabling them to be the best possible version of themselves.

Schools who have followed our programmes tell us that they see real change: not only do individual students cope better with challenges, and seize opportunities, but students’ behaviour as a whole improves, and so does their ability to learn.

We’ve described our main programmes here, but please talk to us about your specific needs.

Click here for our Terms and Conditions.
  • “ … reducing disease is fundamental but so too is ensuring that our young people are capable of meeting the changing requirements of life. We need to ensure that they are resilient and primed to succeed.”

    The Chief Medical Officer, Our Children Deserve Better, 2012

Resilience in schools

When schools come to us they’re keen to teach their students about resilience but rarely feel they have the knowledge or experience to take this specialist teaching on themselves.

We therefore not only provide high quality teaching materials for students but also training for teachers and other school staff to give them the understanding they will need, and a insight into their own resilience so they can model it to their students.

Find out about our programmes for staff – click here

Our curricula and programmes for students

Penn Resilience Programme

The Penn Resilience Programme (PRP) is an evidence based set of cognitive and behavioural lessons that were developed at the University of Pennsylvania. The 18 lessons are evidenced both in the USA and UK to reduce and prevent depression and anxiety and allow students to develop essential resilience skills for life.

Click here to find the next PRP training dates

More on the Penn Resilience Programme

Download a summary of 18 PRP lessons

The PRP is unique because;

  • As the lessons progress students are able to develop a more sophisticated understanding about their thinking and how this impacts on how they feel and behave.
  • Students will develop the skills to think accurately and flexibly and apply these to real life situations to help them solve problems effectively, keep things in perspective, not give up and enhance their optimism and confidence.
  • The lessons feel relevant because they are directed by student input.
  • During the lessons and homework assignments, students practise the skills through case studies, role play, investigation, talking games and worksheets.


Click here to watch a film about the PRP made by students and teachers at Monk’s Walk School

Become a PRP teacher

The Penn Resilience Programme Training is 5 day intensive course that equips staff with the skills and specialist knowledge to teach the PRP lessons in schools. The training begins by teaching the adult level skills that allow participants to consider and develop their own personal resilience. The second element of the training provides the insight to teaching the curriculum to young people.

During the training participants receive extensive coaching and feedback from the highly qualified training team to enable a full and deep understanding of the skills and the curriculum. 

Research has identified that the quality of the teacher training is paramount for achieving successful outcomes for children and young people. If emotional resilience is to be taught well, and achieve the positive outcomes for children and young people that we know it can, then investing the time to learn how to do this is vital.

How to Thrive is the only european based organisation to facilitate the Penn Resilience Programme.

Emma Judge (Co-founder of How to Thrive) is the only UK based University of Pennslyvania Lead Trainer.

Click here to find the next PRP training dates


Read our training Terms and Conditions here.

Mental Illness Investigated

  • "Just as we have physical health, we have mental health too. And just as our bodies can become unwell, so can our minds."

Like physical illness, mental illness affects people of any age, race, religion or income. It is not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Challenging the stigma around mental illness will create more opportunities for those affected to seek help.

More on Mental Illness Investigated

Mental Illness Investigated will enable your students to increase their awareness and understanding of mental illness, reduce stigma and increase their vigilance about their own mental health, and those around them. A key objective is to create greater empathy and compassion for both self and others if and when mental illness is experienced. Evidence-based strategies for the prevention of a mental illness, where they are available, will be discussed and students will be encouraged to look after their mental health as well as their physical health.

Click here for our Terms and Conditions.

Boosting Resilience

As students grow up, the challenges and opportunities they encounter change, as do their ways of meeting them. Our new Boosting Resilience suite will be launched in March 2017.

We have  suite of booster lessons that build on and reinforce resilience skills. It’s easy to forget the good habits learned during the initial programme, and research suggests that young people and adults alike benefit from a refresher. By finding ways to remind your young people of the valuable skills they have, you can embed the skills more securely and help your students to remain resilient in the long term.

  • “75% of adult mental health problems begin before the age of 18.”

    The Chief Medical Officer, Our Children Deserve Better, 2012
    The Statutory Guidance for schools sets out the requirement to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of their pupils. (DfE, 2014)
More on Boosting Resilience

How to Thrive Boosting Resilience are designed to be relevant to the issues facing your students as they move through the school, so they are able to make the most of who they are and the opportunities to thrive.

What does our package include?

  • Curriculum materials for every year from 8 to 11
  • A structured programme to build on the Penn Resilience Programme year on year
  • Practical, immediate ways to develop young people’s resilience as they grow up
  • Flexible and imaginative ways to engage the whole school community
  • Training webinars – learn when it suits you
  • An annual support event to meet fellow teachers and refresh your knowledge and skills
  • An online forum – share ideas with your peers

Contact us to find out more.


Resilience in Navigating Social Media

  • "Everyday interactions within social mediums are the norm for our students. Some manage the environments well, while others struggle. Considering both the benefits and drawbacks in a way that engages young people is well overdue."

Media Navigator is a set of six lessons that will increase understanding about the link between media literacy and lived experiences of your students.

More on Media Navigator

The lessons enable students to define key concepts and to recognise the differences between fantasy and reality by considering the blurring of boundaries that can exist. The skills developed are useful for present social mediums and can be transferred to new and evolving media.

“Today reminded me that we are immersed in media constantly, subsumed and surrounded but it. Young people’s lives are so interconnected in social media and educating them to become critical thinkers with awareness about media messages they produce and receive is essential.”

Resilience and youth work

If you support or educate young people in a community or non-school setting you play an important role in encouraging and teaching them to understand that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but rather about dancing in the rain.

Our approaches help young people to build their personal resilience and self-awareness. They can work particularly well as part of local delivery social action and life skills programmes such as the National Citizenship Service (NCS) programmes. They are effective both as part of a broader programme and on their own.

Please contact us to talk about our different approaches and we can work together to create a programme for the young people you work with.

Setbacks Sorted: a five module programme

Setbacks Sorted: a five-module programme

Developing personal resilience is key to succeeding in life, and so young people need to learn how to make sense of their responses to situations (both feelings and actions) and to reflect on things they can do differently next time around to turn a setback into an opportunity.

Setbacks Sorted is highly participative, engaging and informative 5 module programme. It has been designed so that it can be delivered in a number of settings and with different size groups., either as a whole day event or as a series of sessions over a number of days/weeks. The modules are based on stories, conversations and reflection to challenge thinking.

Module 1: What is resilience?

Module 2: Why do we react the way we do?

Module 3: Managing our emotions.

Module 4: Introducing the Gremlins Of Resilience.

Module 5: Challenging the Gremlins Of Resilience.

Gremlin Green

By the end of the five modules the young people will:

  • Understand what they have done in the past when things go wrong – what works for them and what doesn’t.
  • >Understand that their thinking in the moment effects the way they feel and behave.
  • Be able to carry out simple exercises to calm themselves when they are experiencing strong emotions.
  • Detect early warning signals (gremlins) that a situation is a challenge for them and have a new list of go-to strategies they want to use when faced with a challenging situation – in particular slowing things down, asking for help, working out where they can have some control, and learning from their mistakes.
  • Have a framework and language for self-reflection that allows them to question their own thinking when it is getting in the way. Gremlin Green Full

Our Terms and Conditions

Read our training Terms and Conditions here.

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