LIFT is designed to teach students the important skills needed to manage stress from traumatic events and to start doing the things they want and need to be able to do again. LIFT engages them in compelling activities that assess where they are at and teaches them a variety of coping skills to help them move forward.
LIFT was developed with input from multiracial and multicultural teens in New Orleans, Anaheim, and Washington, D.C. The teens consulted on the course’s format and design, and they participated in a beta test.
The Center and its partners have studied the effectiveness of LIFT. A preliminary pilot study of the LIFT curriculum demonstrated that the curriculum can help improve PTSD symptoms, behavioral difficulties, emotional difficulties, and self-reported ratings of stress.
LIFT is a self-paced, confidential way for teens to learn important coping strategies for handling stress and trauma. Although teens’ use of LIFT is completely confidential, they can print out documents at key steps to show their progress to parents or counselors. The course has seven modules, each requiring 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and it culminates in a game that lets teens try different strategies to see the likely consequences. To aid delivery in schools with the support of a school counselor, we developed a guide that explains what is taught in each module and how to support teens as they progress through the course.
No training is necessary to use LIFT. Those trained in other trauma-focused interventions will easily recognize the techniques and strategies included in the course.