After the freedom of the long summer holidays, the start of the new school year fills many young people with dread.
The majority will quite easily slip back into school routines and expectations within a day or two but sadly, it’s not so easy for some. There are those for whom school triggers levels of extreme anxiety that does not go away and it is a growing problem.
Anxiety was on the increase before the pandemic but has grown exponentially since then. It can be debilitating for the person who struggles with it but it also affects those who live with them. We have seen situations where a young person is so anxious they cannot leave the house resulting in the parent giving up work to stay with them. This has a financial impact on the whole family and worry and increasing isolation can then put pressure on everyone’s emotional wellbeing.
But there are ways of helping young people to cope with anxiety. Over the last year we provided 1000 hours of one-to-one mental health and wellbeing support and have successfully helped many young people find ways of managing so that anxiety no longer rules and restricts their lives. The parent who gave up their job is now able to start looking for work because their son has found coping strategies that work for him meaning he is now able to return to education. He is still anxious but he knows how to manage it. We are rooting for him and he will continue to have one-to-one support until he is settled.
If you would like to know more about anxiety and what it feels like to be a young person who suffers from it in school then why not take a look at our booklet. It includes young people’s stories, information about what anxiety is and information about anxiety, the affect it has on the brain and how it manifests.
If you, or someone you know (13-25) is struggling with anxiety then do get in touch and see if we can help.
Note: The booklet was created as part of a pilot project we worked on during the Covid pandemic with Dorset Mental Health Forum and a small group of anxious and amazing young people who finished the programme happier and less anxious than the day they started. The project itself was developed as part of the CAMHS (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service) two year Discovery College programme to explore different approaches to supporting mental health in the community.