Abstract 410

Don’t Stress – How to Identify Anxiety in the Classroom

Presentation:  Michèle Pellan Cheng, Sonja Saqui

Session C | 10:05 – 10:15 | Location: Room 310


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2015), 25.1% of 13 to 18 year olds will have a lifetime prevalence of an anxiety disorder, and 5.9% of adolescents currently have a severe anxiety disorder. Additionally, anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, and research has shown that children with untreated anxiety disorders are at higher risk for poor performance in school, missing out on important social experiences, and engaging in substance abuse (NIH, 2015). Finally, in addition to their comorbidity within themselves, anxiety disorders often co-occur with other disorders, such as depression, eating disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, Godart, Flament, Perdereau, & Jeammet, 2002; Jensen, Martin & Cantwell, 1997; Noyer, 2001). Anxiety disorders can be treated by appropriately trained mental health practitioners (Anxiety BC, 2007). However, they must first be identified.
Identifying students with anxiety disorders is often overlooked due to difficulties in identifying symptoms, as they are internal rather than external symptoms. Additionally, it may outwardly be perceived as another disorder, such as ADHD, or depression. However, properly identifying students with anxiety disorders is crucial in order to begin the process of involving appropriate professionals to support these students.
Participants will be provided with information regarding common symptoms or signs of behaviours that may be indicative of an anxiety disorder. An introduction to online, community and school-based resources will also be provided. It is our aim that participants will understand how to initiate the referral process and know where and how to access information to better support students who exhibit signs of anxiety in their classrooms.
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