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Anxiety in Young People

Anxiety in Young People

Recent research suggests that 1 in 10 young people have a diagnosable mental health disorder – the equivalent of three pupils in every classroom. And 1 in 6 children will experience an anxiety condition at some point in their lives. As Education Welfare Officers these numbers are certainly reflected in our discussions with school staff. 

Anxiety can affect anyone. It doesn’t differentiate between age, background or social group.  But what can be crucial is spotting at an early stage that a young person may be troubled; providing effective support; and referring for specialist help.

Behaviour issues, such as disruption in class, being withdrawn, anxious or depressed, may also be a sign of an unmet mental health need. Observations in class and around the school, alongside their attendance data, can help to identify those that may be at risk of an underlying mental health issue.

All schools have an important role to play in enabling their pupils to be resilient and in supporting their mental health and wellbeing. They can do this by developing whole school approaches tailored to their school’s particular needs, as well as considering the requirements of individual pupils. To help understand the link between mental health and behaviour, and identify whether a child or young person’s behaviour may be linked to a mental health problem, the DfE have published advice 

The guidance also provides useful information on sources of further support and guidance.

Absences from school may be the first sign that a young person is having difficulties coping. Referring to the Education Welfare Officer at an early stage can help to identify any issues and to look at what support can be put in place to help. For more information about how we can support you please use our contact form or call 01689 843322.

Sue Mellish

Senior Manager

WPA Education Welfare Services


Written by Sue Mellish
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