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A smartphone App designed to help teens and youth to cope with anxiety - promoting a shift in thinking about anxiety.
Available for iPhone/iPad in the apple store:
Available for android in google play store:
The dedicated team at Anxiety.org is committed to making mental health information accessible, inclusive, easy-to-find, and easy-to-understand. We want anyone suffering from an anxiety disorder to have access to all the resources they need to understand and overcome their condition. This website provides the latest and most relevant information by working directly with distinguished doctors, therapists, scientists, and specialists to keep you on the cutting-edge of research and advancements in the field, while keeping our content approachable for the average reader. Our goal is to bridge the understanding gap that exists between mental health professionals and those actually dealing with anxiety disorders.
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or related mood or mental health issue. In fact, some studies have estimated the number to be over 1 billion! And the majority of those diagnosed or struggling with an anxiety disorder don't receive treatment or have access to the information, treatment, or tools they need during their journey to recovery. Anxiety.org is there to provide support to people no matter what their environment or economic status.
It is not surprising that there are over four million monthly Internet searches worldwide on anxiety-related terms. Some of these searches come from undiagnosed individuals seeking basic knowledge about what they are experiencing; others come from diagnosed persons looking for specific information and guidance; and still others come from individuals seeking understanding and advice regarding a family member, loved one, or close friend who is dealing with anxiety. For people with these conditions, the isolating nature and stigma associated with anxiety disorders has been a significant obstacle to seeking professional treatment. Anxiety.org allows anxiety sufferers the ability to seek help anonymously and conveniently.
We have partnered with hundreds of schools, institutions, researchers and clinicians, experienced therapists, and other mental health and wellness experts. All the donations received, as well as 100% of Anxiety.org revenue in 2016, will be used to fund grants to universities, clinics, and research institutions. If you are interested, please email our publisher at Research@Anxiety.org.
A great way to show anxiety is to do a drama performance and act it out for others to see what anxiety is really like for someone.
Dealing with Anxiety:
Video series “Stopping the Noise in your Head: The New Way to Overcome Anxiety and Worry”
1. Find a situation that scares you…really cares you!
a) For example flying in an airplane. Have an actor pretending to be on a plane with ‘anxiety’ sitting beside them
2. Move towards that thing….get the stress going.
3. Acknowledge that doubt, stress, and discomfort.
4. Welcome what is happening…..
5. Give yourself a motivational or instructional comment…give me more
6. Go back to the task
7. Give yourself a “ point” for being able to go back to the task.
Anxiety education for youth, teens. Includes content,, activities and videos on topics:
Fight, Flight, Freeze
How to Chill
Our brains have an alarm system that works all on its own. It is called the amygdala, and when the amygdala fires off its alarm system we tend to listen. Which is great if we are actually in a fire, or actually being chased by a large wild animal, or actually our life is indeed in danger! However, for the most part, often our amygdala fires when we are NOT in any real kind of danger. For instance:
Talking to a person we don’t know, is NOT life threatening.
Ordering a meal in a restaurant, is NOT life threatening.
Writing a test, is NOT life threatening.
Making eye contact with someone, is NOT life threatening.
However, when we have anxiety our brain activates our amygdala and we respond with body sensations and thoughts that make us believe they just might be! The amygdala is a small almond shaped organ in our brain that processes our memory, our decision-making response and our emotional responses. It is part of our nervous system, and all too often it is working over-time.
To handle worry and anxiety we need to teach our brain to NOT turn on the alarm system. (The best part about a brain is that it is very capable of changing the way it thinks! This is called neuroplasticity.). We need to tell our brain:
- I am willing to feel UNcomfortable.
- I am willing to feel unsure and to NOT know what might happen next.
- I am willing to use my courage and do what I might not want to do.
- I can handle it if things do not go just perfect.
- I am okay with NOT knowing how things are going to turn out.
By saying this in our mind and by doing this we can change the response our brain makes. It will take time and constant repetition…but it can be accomplished. We can actually make a new neuropathway in our brain so that it no longer ‘fires up panic’ when we do things. It is like making a new walking path across the grass. Eventually, if we stay on the same new path, the old one fills in and a new path begins to appear.
Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis. The service is currently available in the Canada via SMS at 686868.
There is also an opportunity to apply to be a volunteer crisis responder.
Do you have students who struggle to prepare for exams? suffer from test anxiety? need some new tips?
This resource has everything you need to run an exam preparation and study skill "crash course". Included in this resource are a teacher powerpoint, student study guide booklet (that pairs with the powerpoint), a parent newsletter (supporting your child during exam time), and additional information on overcoming test anxiety.
Every one of use gets anxious or worried at some times in our life. This is normal. We are supposed to get worried, because worrying keeps us safe and out of danger. If we were never afraid of falling, we might walk along rooftops. Which would be very dangerous and really bad for our health and safety! We may worry about being in a car accident. So because of this we wear a seat belt to minimize our chances of getting hurt. We still take the risk of being in a car, but we minimize the chances of getting hurt by wearing our seatbelt.
Throughout our day we encounter varying degrees of worry or anxiety. Some of these are understandable and sometimes our worries seem to be unreasonable. Describe specific situations that make you anxious and the level of discomfort it gives you. On a scale of 0 to 10 ( 0 being not at all anxious, and 10 being extremely anxious) rate how much each situation affects you.
After ranking the situations that make you anxious, think about things that you could do to change the ranking to a lower level. Write that down on a separate piece of paper and then DO IT, don’t avoid it.
For Example: If I am feeling overwhelmed by an assignment, I could break the assignment down into smaller sections and then tackle each section one day at a time. This would lower my anxiety level (on the scale) about getting the assignment done. BUT, I would also get the assignment done and not AVOID doing it because it makes me anxious.
It is important to identify the things that make us anxious, but it is even more important to figure out a way that we can reduce our anxiety about something, and then ACTUALLY work on reducing the anxiety.
Attachment includes chart for this.
Who is affected?
Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).
How common is it?
By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.
What causes it?
A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
What is the economic cost?
The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.Sources: The Report on Mental Illness in Canada, October 2002. EBIC 1998 (Health Canada 2002), Stephens et al., 2001
How does it impact youth?
It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.
Worry and Rumination
While worrying and feeling nervous is something that all human beings experience, as with many things in life, too much of something may not be good for you. Normal anxiety can become a problem when it is excessive, feels uncontrollable, is experienced as intrusive in your life, is persistent (seeming to always be around), and causes you significant distress, or impairs your ability to go about your day-to-day life. This is when normal anxiety becomes generalised anxiety disorder.
One of the important features of generalised anxiety is that the worry and anxiety is spread across a number of different areas such as health, work, interpersonal relationships, finances, and so on. This makes it different from other anxiety problems, such as social anxiety or phobias, where nervousness and worrying are more specific to particular situations.
**Site includes workbook, worksheets and information sheets for download.
The purpose of us feeling anxiety in our bodies is so that we will ‘DO SOMETHING’ to try to eliminate the event, situation or thing that we are worried about. This is a primitive and basic survival instinct that we still have deeply embedded in our brains. The problem is…we don’t need to run away from saber tooth tigers anymore!
However, instead of having the idea of “I need to get rid of this feeling” we need to change it to “whatever is happening right at this moment, I CAN HANDLE that.”
What we need to do is learn about anxiety and how it works in our bodies and then break anxiety down into small pieces, and take it step by step. It may start with learning about how anxiety works and feels in our bodies; the sensations we get from anxiety. Starting with what happens in our brain and body when we are anxious. Then we need to learn what we can do with those sensations to lessen them and our anxiety. Then we work on our anxious thoughts and work to change the dialogue we have in our heads about anxiety. Essentially we break anxiety down into small chewable bites. This is in order to give you some success.
Education for teachers, parents, professionals. Powerpoint companion to material from her book Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents
An evidence-based program deisgned to teach youth to develop coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety.
More than 120 Regina Grade 4 and 6 students have been given some new "FRIENDS" to help them better cope with stress, as part of a pilot program in Regina Public Schools.
The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region and Regina Public Schools teamed up this school year to offer an innovative pilot program to 122 students in Grades 4 and 6, giving them tools to help reduce and better manage stress, anxiety and depression. The program is funded by the RBC Foundation through its five-year Believe in Kids pledge.
"Children are experiencing more stress, and this can lead to physical and mental health problems," said Robert Stephenson, RQHR psychologist and Regina FRIENDS pilot project coordinator. "The FRIENDS program equips kids with coping tools at an early age, so they can be more successful in dealing with situations as they arise, hopefully preventing significant difficulties later in life."
FRIENDS is an acronym for the skills and lessons emphasized in the program:
-Remember to relax
-I can try! I can do my best!
-Explore coping plans and solutions
-Now reward yourself
-Don't forget to practice
-Smile and stay calm for life
A storytelling site by and for people with lived mental health experience. Helping to break down stigma by educating through stories and experiences.
We all have something to share from our experience with mental health, regardless of where we are in the journey, and this is what this blog is about.
This blog serves in 3 ways:
1) to facilitate those of you who have a mental health issue(s), or care about someone who has a mental health issue(s), to write about your experience for the purpose of telling part of your story and sharing your wisdom, by having it published on this site (click here for more info on Superhero guest blogging);
2) to give you the opportunity to read what myself and others have experienced and I hope with all my heart that will help you to feel less lonely and misunderstood and maybe even a little bit empowered; and
3) to educate others who are interested in putting themselves in the shoes of someone who has a mental health issue.
A FREE Psychological First Aid Guide from the Canadian Red Cross
The likelihood that a sudden crisis event might affect you or someone you know is higher than you think. That is why it’s critical that you take the steps to learn Psychological First Aid and prepare yourself to handle the extreme stress that a crisis event can cause.
The guide will teach you:
How to create your own self-care plan
The Look, Listen, Link, Live Cycle
How to provide Psychological First Aid to others
The Do No Harm Principles