Mental Health Awareness
Topic 1: Anxiety
We all get frightened or worried from time to time. Usually fear is a good thing as it keeps us from getting too close to danger. Sometimes though, we can feel frightened or worry about things 'too much' and this can get in the way of enjoying life. This sort of fear or worry is called anxiety.
When we feel we are in danger, our brains tell our bodies to get ready to run away quickly.
In your body or physically you may feel:
• heart racing
• short of breath
• ‘butterflies’ in the stomach.
• In your mind you may:
• feel upset
• feel worried
• be irritable
• be unable to relax
• have difficulty in concentrating.
Sometimes you may find the problems started after upsetting or frightening experiences in your life (like being bullied at school, having an illness, loss of a loved one or parents separating).
You may be able to manage one thing, but when lots of things happen at once, like parents separating, moving house and changing school, it can become much more difficult.
What can I do?
The good news is that it is treatable
• Try to give yourself more time to get used to any changes that happen, like at home or at school
• Check out whether you are picking up on someone else’s worry, rather than it being just yours.
• Ask your tutor/pastoral leader for support, speak to a trusted friend or teacher.
• Anxiety UK - A charity providing information and support for people suffering with anxiety problems.
• The Child Anxiety Network - Provides thorough, user-friendly information about child anxiety.
• Youth Access - Offers information, advice and counselling in the UK.
• Young Minds Parents Helpline - For any adult concerned about the emotions and behaviour of a child or young person. Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544