Australian school psychologists have identified anxiety as the most common issue encountered in their work with students and their families in primary schools. One in five children and adolescents have elevated symptoms of anxiety. Early intervention is key to promoting positive mental health and strong learning outcomes.
This ebooklet provides a brief overview of anxiety and a wide range of strategies teachers and other school professionals can use to help prevent and reduce anxiety in children in the classroom.
Relevant strategies can also be easily adapted to be included in student’s Individual Learning Plans and in the recommendations section of psychologist’s reports.
Strategies to help prevent or reduce anxiety
- Classroom routines and organisation
- Encourage engagement and connectedness
- Build participation, physical activity and fun
- Provide a physically and emotionally safe environment
- De-escalate worry, tension and anxiety
- Teach relaxation techniques
- Reduce avoidance, hesitance, perfectionism and withdrawal
- Build emotional literacy and regulation
- Help build a toolkit for managing worries and concerns
- Learning disability
- Serious medical conditions
- Answering questions aloud in class
- Mathematics anxiety
- Homework, assessment and test anxiety
- School camps
These strategies are designed for use with students in primary and junior secondary schools.
This ebooklet is part of a two-book series. The second Psych4Schools ebooklet, Working with children who are anxious (new edition, book 2), will be available next week.
The ebooklet, Working with children to help prevent anxiety (new edition, book 1) is available free to download for all Psych4Schools members or for individual sale on page 2 in our shop.
Not a member? Click here to join now.
Murray Evely, Psych4Schools Psychologist/Guidance Officer
O’Grady, L., Quayle, A., Martin, L.M., Cavanagh, S., (June, 2011) Tackling mental health in primary schools. InPsych, The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 33 (3), 30-31. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Psychological Society
Barrett, P., (October, 2014) Treatment guidance for common health disorders: Childhood anxiety disorders. InPsych, The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 36 (5),15. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Psychological Society