Working with children who are anxious (new ed. book 2)



Many students have heightened levels of anxiety, with anxiety disorders the most common mental health issue for Australian children and adolescents. Australian school psychologists have also identified anxiety as the most common issue encountered in their work with students and their families in primary schools.[1] One in five children and adolescents have elevated symptoms of anxiety.[2]

This ebooklet provides a brief overview of anxiety and strategies to support a child diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The ebooklet provides a wide range of strategies teachers and other school professionals can use to assist working with children who are anxious. 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.

These strategies are designed for use with students in primary and junior secondary schools.

This ebooklet is part of a two-book series. The complementary ebooklet, Working with children to help prevent anxiety (new edition, book 1)aims to help prevent and reduce anxiety.


[1]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

[2]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

The ebooklet includes recommendations for how to help: Support a child diagnosed with an anxiety disorder
  • Collaborate with other professionals
Support the child who is anxious
  • Build trust and one-on-one speaking times
  • Use supportive talk to reduce anxiety
  • Help the child gain a sense of perspective
  • Help the child to think clearly and logically
  • Teach relaxation techniques
  • Build a can-do attitude
  • Promote connectedness and help-seeking behaviour
  • Tailor learning to build social emotional intelligence
Individual factors
  • Learning disability
  • Giftedness
  • Serious medical conditions
School pressures
  • Answering questions aloud in class
  • Mathematics anxiety
  • Homework, assessment and test anxiety
  • School camps