An estimated one in 10 teenagers have mental health problems and there is a high prevalence of anxiety and depression. In this five-article series, Dr Stephanie Thornton advises schools and teachers. In part four, she advises on how we might students who suffer from anxiety

Anxiety of one sort or another is one of the earliest, and most common of mental health problems in the young (Beesdo et al, 2009), especially among girls (Craske, 2003).

Research suggests that as many as 1 in 6 teenagers may suffer from anxiety – so in a class of 30, there may be five individuals struggling with this problem (Beesdo et al, 2009).

And NHS figures show that 12.8 per cent – roughly one in eight – five to 19-year-olds had at least one mental health disorder when assessed in 2017. This figure rises to 16.9 per cent of 17 to 19-year-olds. Furthermore, of these, emotional disorders were the most common, affecting 8.1 per cent of five to 19-year-olds in 2017. And of these, anxiety-related disorders were the most common – 7.2 per cent (see SecEd, 2018).

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