Helping SAD Children and Teenagers (Stressed, Anxious and Depressed)
Stress, Anxiety and Depression are the biggest mental heath issues for children and teenagers. For some the effects of these problems can be so acute and isolating, that suicidal thoughts take hold.
For the first time, statistics on suicide victims in the UK have changed. Previously, males in their teen into their early 30s were the group most likely to commit suicide. Possibly due to the pressures of a recession, males 35-49 years are now most at risk.
Despite the shift in statistics, young people remain vulnerable as mental health issues continue to rise and health services continue to be stretched.
Identifying and knowing how to address mild to moderate mental health issues in young people can help them to avoid an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. Often those who are experiencing these states are unable to articulate what is happening for them either because they do not understand why thy are feeling that way (they haven’t identified the root cause), because they feel its “just the way they are” (a sense of hopelessness) or because they do not possess the language to explain what the cause of the issues may be (lack of resources).
Anxiety, stress and depression are separate problems and can exist on their own, but they usually “feed” each other. There is an overlap in the symptoms that are used to identify each of these issues too. It’s useful to know the symptoms of each so that you can begin to look out for them in the young people you know . However, accurately identifying and labelling whether the problem is stress, anxiety or depression, surprisingly isn’t as important as you may think. What’s more important is what can be done to help once it is clear that there is a problem.
It is important to help the young person identify the cause of the unwanted feelings that they have and to relate this to the real fear that is behind that. For example, after asking a few questions, you might establish that the teenager you have identified as having anxiety, feels anxious because they do not feel they have revised enough for their exams. You could address this simply by getting them to revise more. But if they genuinely have been putting in the hours already, more revision may cause them also to become stressed. You could help them by saying “don’t worry you’ll be fine” but that isn’t addressing the real fear either.
The real fear that needs addressing in this particular example is likely to be something like fear of failure and the impact that the failure would have on their lives or other people’s opinions of them.
Until the fear of failure is handled, it is very difficult to obtain a lasting result from any surface level problems you help them to solve.
Over the next few months, members of the NLP4Kids team will be running short courses for parents, teachers and anyone else who has interactions with young people. There are 4 one day, low cost courses available for you to attend.
Each will contain case studies from the trainer and NLP based solutions to the types of problems you can expect to encounter.
At NLP4Kids we are passionate about improving the well being and mental health of young people. There is limited focus on mental and emotional well being in schools with our society impressing a greater importance on academic intelligence with each passing school year.
Our focus at NLP4Kids is on emotional intelligence and increasing the emotional intelligence and skills set for every young person in the UK. Now, we’d like to invite you to join us on our crusade.
Find out more here:
Helping Young People Overcome Learning Blocks
By Gemma Bailey