Understanding Anxiety: Students Speak Up
May 12, 2022
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an emotionally-charged topic for many people. Conversations around mental health are essential to discuss, especially as it relates to our youth. Together, schools and families should be aware of and address students’ social and emotional needs.
While communicating mental health concerns may be uncomfortable for many, a group of Clarksville High students came forward to address their own battle with anxiety and anxiety-related concerns. The athletes bravely shared their experiences and coping strategies and shared how finding the support of others helps regulate their emotions.
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 in 3 adolescents (13 – 19) will experience an anxiety disorder. Adults should stay aware of the signs of anxiety in children and teens. Some children may openly share they are anxious, while others may not understand the emotions. In speaking with these Clarksville High athletes, they all experienced different levels of anxiety, which presented in various ways.
Signs of Anxiety in Children
- Recurring fears and worries about routine parts of everyday life
- Changes in behavior, such as irritability
- Avoiding activities, school, or social interactions
- Dropping grades or school avoidance
- Trouble sleeping or concentrating
- Substance use or other risky behaviors
- Chronic physical complaints, such as fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches
It is important to play an active role in your child’s education. Engage in regular conversations with your kids about potential stressors. Try to empathize with them and see the world from their perspective. Help your child set realistic expectations to reach their potential. At times, this may mean they have to find the courage to ask for help. Remember to encourage them to relax, play, and be with friends, which are crucial for their mental and physical health.
Talk with your child about their social media use. Help them take breaks—and help them think critically and rationally about the effect of social media on their lives. We must recognize the significant impact of today’s experiences on young people’s mental health – and the importance of providing the education, care, and support they need.
Worried about yourself or someone you care about?
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to ask questions.
Try to understand what they are experiencing and how their daily life is impacted.