Life Skills

The Beacon House Board of Directors believes that formalizing and enhancing the life skills component within its current programs is needed. Board action on this issue will make it a top priority and the added emphasis will better prepare residents for their lives beyond Beacon House. Life skills are now incorporated throughout existing programs, but greater emphasis will offer residents more chances to apply life skills concepts in real situations at work and within the Beacon House family structure.

The World Health Organization defines life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.” Life skills are skill sets that accommodate specific methods and behaviors for coping in an industrial and technological world. Examples of these categories include:

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) divide life skills into subsets of categories:

Learning to know: Cognitive abilities

Critical thinking skills

Learning to be: Personal abilities

Skills for increasing internal locus of control

Skills for managing feelings

Skills for managing stress

Learning to live together: Interpersonal abilities

Interpersonal communication skills

Negotiation and refusal skills


Cooperation and teamwork

Advocacy skills


  1. UNESCO: Introduction to Life Skills
  2. UNICEF: Which skills are “life skills?”

Please visit the Life Skills area of this website often for updates and commentary about this initiative’s progress.

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