National Health Education Week: Tips for school staff to help students suffering from anxiety

National Health Education Week: Tips for school staff to help students suffering from anxiety

Some children are often reluctant to go to school and make excuses to avoid it at all costs. This refusal could be an indication of the prevalence of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder in kids is a serious concern as it tends to hamper their success in school as well as affects their overall development and growth.

An anxiety disorder creates many problems for a child. The disorder prevents the child in manifesting or developing his potential both academically and socially. Often such kids are overlooked by the teachers due to their hesitant or shy behavior. Such children also tend to be overly obedient as they fear making a mistake whether it be while doing homework, or fear failure like being unable to perform well in class.

Therefore, it becomes important to address anxiety issues when they start to show up right when the child is in school, so that it does not persist throughout his or her life. In such a scenario, the school and the staff play a crucial role in helping the child overcome an anxiety disorder and lead a quality life.

The third week of October is commemorated as the National Health Education Week, sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) to promote the role of health education in the society. It is extremely important for the schools to promote awareness among students about the prevalence of anxiety disorders and effective remedies to curb the symptoms. To mark this event, below are a few tips that can help the school staff support children with an anxiety disorder:

Awareness among the teachers

The first step towards helping children cope with anxiety is to assist them in becoming self-aware. They should be taught the techniques to become aware of and overcome their symptoms. Teachers should be equipped with the right skill-set and knowledge to identify children with an anxiety disorder, so that they can help them cope with the disorder in a healthy manner.

Arranging special accommodation

Many children resent going to school as they feel uncomfortable in a new space. Such feelings intensify for children suffering from anxiety disorders. Therefore, offering such students a special accommodation wherein their needs can be taken care of, can help them in overcoming their disorder. Also, it would help them learn and develop crucial skills, thereby ensuring their growth both academically and socially.

Encourage participation

Children with anxiety often shy away from interacting with others and from participating in activities. They are hesitant about socializing and tend to avoid difficult situations or stepping out of their comfort zone. Teachers should encourage such students to participate in activities, despite their anxiousness. Also, teachers can modify the activities to make them more inspiring and inclusive so such students can feel free to participate. However, teachers should refrain from forcing such a child since it may have a negative effective on the child’s psychology.

Teachers should be alert during stressful situations

Often, situations such as tests or presentations create a lot of stress for children with anxiety. These children may experience heightened symptoms of anxiety like panic if they are not prepared for the situation. In such a scenario, teachers should be aware that such a child might exhibit symptoms of anxiety and should be prepared accordingly. The teachers can modify the test such as by providing some extra time or allowing breaks in between the tests; or change the presentation module to provide some comfort to an anxious child so that they can perform. Likewise, teachers can help the child gradually learn to face difficult situations, thereby addressing the anxiety disorder.

Help children develop independence

While children with anxiety should be kept under proper vigilance and care, teachers should encourage them to conduct their activities independently. They should allot special responsibilities to these children so that they can develop self-confidence and become capable. Development of a sense of independence would reduce their need for reassurance and boost their morale.

Road to recovery

Anxiety disorder is a mental illness that needs to be treated at the earliest. While stress and tension are commonplace in a difficult situation, it  goes away once the situation is over. However, anxiety disorders tend to persist and disrupt day-to-day life and routine. The condition, if left untreated, can cause severe harm and also affect the quality of a person’s life.

If you or your loved one is grappling with an anxiety disorder, contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to know about various anxiety disorders treatment centers in California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online to seek guidance on the best anxiety disorders treatment in California. Our certified representatives can help you get in touch with one of the best anxiety treatment centers in California.

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