Resilient Kids (Prim. and Sec.)

All Australian program for Primary & Secondary Schools
Teaching optimism, coping skills & personal mastery
Helping immunise young people against depression

Program Components


Primary – Teacher’s Guide and interactive student CD-ROM

Available on approval. Order now (Resilient Kids Program order form)



Secondary – Teacher’s Guide and interactive student CD-ROM

Available on approval. Order now (Resilient Kids Program order form).


“At last there is a clear, simple and appealing program that is free of jargon and respects individual values that will empower any teacher or parent working with young people…  In my view Resilient Kids fills a gap in prevention programs.  It focuses on positive behaviours that are achievable by all young Australians… Resilient Kids program builds optimism in young Australians.  Optimism is the key to immunising young people against the negative behaviours that can do them damage.”  John S. Cheetham, B.A.; B.Ed.; Dip.C.H.; F.A.A.H.S.; F.S.S.E.; M.A.P.S.; M.A.C.E.; Psychologist

“I’m a school psychologist in WA and I have used your excellent Resilient Kids CD-ROM and really like it. It’s often an important part of my practice.”  James Colvin, Psychologist

“The material is extremely supportive for teachers who have not formerly taught in this area….there is great value for students with literacy problems in working through the activities with an audio and written component…”  Marjorie Seiffert, HEAV Executive, Coordinator School Focused Youth Service, MacKillop Family Services.


Key Objectives of Resilient Kids

  • To reduce the incidence of suicide through teaching primary prevention strategies.
  • Teaching children and teens how to evaluate their automatic thoughts and to re-look at failures or set-backs as challenges to be reacted to with activity and hope.
  • Teaching parents how to help their children achieve self-esteem through personal mastery.
  • Creating a sense of belonging through parents and school working together for the child’s well being.
  • Equip the older teenager with ideas and skills for managing the transition from adolescence to adulthood and handling typical stress situations.
  • To take a serious problem and make it easy to communicate and fun to learn through interactivity.

Serious Subject – Lighthearted Approach

The Resilient Kids Program combines traditional classroom practice with the interactive educational medium of CD-ROM in order to maximise learning outcomes through:

  • teacher-led class discussion and student worksheets
  • complementary interactive computer-based activities for individuals or groups. The colour, movement and audio of the CD-ROM take students of all reading abilities through the stories and activities, which consolidate the key learning concepts introduced by the teacher, including:
    • identifying and understanding feelings
    • re-framing our automatic thoughts
    • de-catastrophising by seeing bad events as temporary and specific rather than permanent and global
    • developing social and problem solving skills

Both Primary and Secondary programs include a complete set of teaching notes reproduced in full colour which provide detailed guides for classroom discussion, activities, student worksheets and parent/child activities. These can be photocopied if required. These notes can also be found on each CD in PDF format, which allows teachers to print relevant sections in colour or black and white on demand.

  • Where computer facilities are not readily available, the Teaching Notes provide a complete stand alone program.

The added advantages of the CD-ROM Component

  • Resilient Kids may be loaded onto the School Intranet – enquire about the annual cost.
  • School counsellors can work one-on-one with individual students, exploring issues like anger and sadness from a safe ‘one step removed’ position via the stories and scenarios
  • children with low literacy skills can engage and learn through the audio visual medium
  • The program also directs users to the Open Doors website, where there is information for students, parents, teachers and other professionals.

Why Resilient Kids?

Response to a National Community Tragedy. The increase in the rate of suicide is a cause for alarm in the community. Increased National figures in youth suicide have prompted Open Doors to take a pro-active role in trying to prevent the loss of further lives.

Prevention is the answer

Mood disorders, including depression, have consistently been found to be associated with suicidal ideas, attempts and completed suicide. There is also a strong association between depression and substance abuse, early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy.  Unfortunately depression in children and young people often goes undetected and prolonged periods of sadness or unhappiness in young people may be a risk factor for long term social problems and for clinical depression.

Primary Prevention

The Primary Prevention approach is concerned with preventing the development of predisposing problems that could place people at risk of suicide or suicidal behaviour.  Primary Schools are an ideal setting for Primary Prevention. Martin E. P Seligman, Ph.D., one of the world’s experts on motivation, has drawn on a long-term research program in America – the Penn Depression Prevention Project, which has been clinically proven to halve the risk of depression in children (M. Seligman, 1995, The Optimistic Child). He presents the idea of “psychological immunisation” against depression, through teaching cognitive and behavioural techniques that instil a sense of optimism and personal mastery. Children can be taught to see that there are many contributing causes to any problem and to take responsibility for what they have contributed to the problem, without blaming themselves for things out of their control. He emphasises that self-esteem develops through action – mastery, persistence, overcoming frustration and boredom and meeting challenges.

The Resilient Kids team members are all dedicated healthcare and education professionals who have spent four years in research and 2 years in the writing and creating of the program.

Open Doors

Opening Doors to learning since 1984

Open Doors Counselling and Educational Services has responded to community needs through the provision of counselling, and educational material for youth, since 1984. These preventative education programs are used in 4,000 Australian Schools. Open Doors is a community based, non-profit, registered charity that is committed to supporting the family and the community.

Resilient Kids Program order form


PO Box 610 (5 Greenwood Ave) Ringwood. Victoria, 3134 Australia
Ph: (03) 9870 7044
Contact Form

The optimistic child – keys to resilience training