Elementary School Aged Children Living With Anxiety: Raising Awareness, Developing Prevention Strategies, and Providing Intervention

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Robertson, Kristina
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The purpose of this project is to examine childhood anxiety disorders. Children with anxiety disorders have an excessive amount of worry and fear that interferes with their ability to function. Anxiety has three reactionary components, the physiological symptoms, the behavioural symptoms, and negative distorted cognitions. Childhood anxiety disorders are serious mental health illnesses that require understanding, support and intervention. Childhood anxiety rates are continuing to rise, approximately one in seven elementary aged children are affected. It is significant for parents, educators and counsellors to be aware of the symptoms, the impact anxiety has and the ways that they can support. It is important that children living with anxiety have the opportunity to learn about anxiety and the uncontrollable feelings and reactions that occur. A thorough review of literature on the subject of childhood anxiety and various intervention strategies are presented. This paper offers multiple recommendations to better support children with anxiety at the elementary school level. It is suggested that parents find opportunities to educate themselves in the ways to best support their child. It is suggested that educators create opportunities for increased awareness and acceptance and provide opportunities for the child to be more comfortable and successful in the classroom environment. It is also suggested that counsellors and community agencies offer prevention and intervention programs, such as Taming Worry Dragons and FRIENDS For Life.