Support from health professionals
If further support is needed, work with your colleagues and the family to refer the child or young person to a health professional.
A range of health professionals and services offer information, treatment and support for anxiety conditions, as well as self-help strategies. Effective treatment helps children and young people learn how to control their anxiety, so it doesn’t control them. The type of treatment will depend on the type of anxiety they're experiencing.
Psychological treatment can help a person change their thinking patterns so they're able to keep their anxiety under control and reduce irrational worries. Treatment typically involves reducing avoidance and using effective coping skills, such as relaxation and learning how to replace unhelpful thoughts with positive self-talk. In younger children, support may focus more on behavioural and parental approaches (for example, helping families respond helpfully to anxious behaviours).
Delivery options include one on one, group, or online therapies. Learn more about online mental health tools.
Research shows that psychological therapies are the most effective treatment option for people with anxiety. However, if symptoms are severe, some medical treatments may be helpful. For instance, some types of antidepressant medication can help people to manage anxiety, even if they’re not experiencing symptoms of depression. When people have an anxiety condition, specific changes occur in their brain's chemicals. Antidepressant medication is designed to correct the imbalance of chemical messages between nerve cells (neurones) in the brain.
Be You Professional Learning
Check out content on social and emotional learning and teaching for resilience in the Learning Resilience domain.
James, A., James, G., Cowdrey, F., Soler, A., & Choke, A. (2013). Cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, 6, CD004690.
Supporting children and young people experiencing anxiety
Anxiety can be difficult to spot because it presents in many ways. The important point is to notice that there’s a concern and seek further advice and assistance.