Best Practice

Mental health: Strategies for students to handle anxiety

Anxiety can be overwhelming. How can teachers and school staff support students who are struggling with feelings of anxiety? In this article, Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers a range of ideas and strategies

The skills and strategies for managing anxiety and the ups and downs of daily life are some of the most important our students can learn. Below are some ways young people can prevent and manage anxiety. These ideas will work for you too, so you might lead by example...

When in doubt: sleep

Sleep is the most important thing and there is very little that does not feel a whole lot better after a good night’s sleep; indeed, chronic sleep deprivation fuels the fires of anxiety and depression. Try to have open and honest conversations with students about the role of sleep and what optimal sleep might look like for them (and you). Try to develop a shared understanding that a “Big Sleep” can be a big help in hitting the reset button on anxieties (see SecEd, 2019).

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