Over the past term we have had the privilege of running 5 'Let’s Talk Anxiety Support Groups' across the Hitchin Secondary Schools. We are seeing more and more young people struggle with anxiety, especially as we start to emerge from lockdown and are processing all that has happened over the past 18 months. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found:
"That across all teenagers surveyed, their rating of their own mental health has worsened, over the course of the pandemic."
It is therefore vital that we are helping young people at this time to be able to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion, one that helps us to avoid dangerous situations and motivates us to do our best under pressure, but when it becomes extreme it can become debilitating and interfere with day to day living.
The Let’s Talk Anxiety Support Group consists of 6 sessions, lasting 1 hour with 6-8 young people as part of the group. The course helps the young people understand what is happening to their body when they are feeling anxious, how to manage their thoughts and strategies to be able to help them with their anxiety, through creating their own toolkit. The course also helps the young people take steps to overcoming the fears which they feel are holding them back from flourishing. The group offers a safe space for them, as well as a source of support and encouragement.
By a young person being part of the 'Let's Talk Anxiety Support Group', it helps them to realise that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, which is one of the things that the young people repeatedly report as being one of real the positives of the group.
As a delivery team it has been an absolute joy to be able to run these groups to go on the journey with the young people over the course of the 6 sessions, being able to help them move from a place of feeling stuck and helpless to being equipped with tools and strategies to be able to manage the feeling of anxiety.
Here is the impact that the groups have had on us as a delivery team at Phase as we reflected on the experience of leading these groups and some stand out moments for each of us:
It is always great to hear at the end of the course, how the young people have found it, always encouraging them to be honest with what they thought!! Here is some real encouragement from how the young people found the group…
'Before the group I felt upset and overall anxious, but my time spent with Phase has given me hope.'
You can find some of the resources that we use in the group on our website which are all free to download on our website.
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