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Surviving and Thriving – Anxiety

Resources to help:

And helplines

Please seek help from a professional or a support organisation if you find you are struggling.
King Edward VI Foundation Birmingham are not responsible for the content of the resources linked from these pages

Resources to help staff

Webinar: Supporting pupils with anxiety – therapeutic techniquesOptimus Education webinar with senior educational psychologist Tina Rae: Anxiety is a fast-growing problem for young people in schools. Techniques to support your pupils.
Developing character skills in schoolsSummary report of research from NatCen Social Research & the National Children’s Bureau Research and Policy Team, 2017.
Helping pupils who feel like they’re struggling in schoolUseful tips and printable resources that you can share with your pupils from Performance Learning.
Helping your pupils cope with an increased workloadUseful tips and printable resources that you can share with your pupils from Performance Learning.
Spotting the signs of stressThe Stress Continuum from Supportive resources for Colorado healthcare workers.
Seven magic mental health questions every teacher should knowNatasha Devon writes for TES: The strategic use of these ‘magic questions’ can pull pupils out of a depression or anxiety ‘thought bog’.
Decatastrophizing worksheetA one-page worksheet from Psychology Tools.
Facing Fears formForm and ideas from Anxiety BC Youth in Canada to help with overcoming fears.
Socratic Questions worksheetA two-page worksheet from Therapist Aid to help challenge irrational thoughts.
Self-care infographicInfographics from Anna Freud Centre covering: Scoping review, systematic review, and which approaches worked for a sample of 100+ young people.
Circles of controlOne-page worksheet with circles of control to complete.
Understanding why comparing yourself to others doesn’t workPerformance Learning Teacher Resource: tips and printable resources.
20 Classroom Interventions for Children with Anxiety DisordersSuggestions from Health Central for ways teachers can make the school day easier and less stressful for a child with anxiety.
Education recovery: bridging the gap of opportunity for staff and pupils post pandemicOptimus Education Blog from Kelly Hannaghan.
Where Do I Feel? worksheetAn art therapy worksheet from Therapist Aid to help young people name, identify, and recognize their emotions.
We’ll meet againA selection of assembly ideas and class-based
activities from Place2Be to support your school
community as it comes back together (coronavirus pandemic).
Progressive Muscle Relaxation ScriptTherapist Aid’s Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script which can be used to guide people through the exercise.
Unhelpful Thinking StylesInformation sheet from Psychology Tools which describes the most common unhelpful thinking styles that are experienced by everyone at some point.
Strategies for identifying and supporting stress in our pupilsOptimus Education Blog: Stress can wreak havoc on pupils’ wellbeing. It’s important that staff can take a practical approach to supporting recovery.
Grounding TechniquesTherapist Aid’s worksheet describes four skills for controlling intense emotional experiences and regaining mental focus.
Grounding Techniques & Self Soothing for Emotional Regulation
Blog with many methods to try from Eddins Counseling Group. Grounding techniques are useful when we feel distressed, overwhelmed emotionally, triggered or mentally removed from the present moment.
Understanding Anxiety in Children and Teens2018 Children’s Mental Health Report looking at how widespread these disorders are, how they develop, and the risks of untreated anxiety.
Challenging unhelpful thoughtsThought Diary worksheet on the page 7 of this Cognitive Restructuring booklet from TalkPlus.
Working in partnership:
Introduction to the case study practice examples
DfE document aimed at school staff and policy-makers wanting to understand how schools and colleges work in partnership with NHS Children and Young People Mental Health Services.
Anxiety in young people: strategy bookletOptimus Education booklet in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England, which aims to help staff identify anxiety, understand what it is, and can support pupils.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust: Self-help booklets
  • Anxiety: Anxiety booklet and anxiety audio aims to help you recognise whether or not you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety; understand what anxiety is, what can cause it, what can keep it going; and overcome your anxiety by learning better ways of coping with it.
  • Health Anxiety: Health Anxiety booklet and health anxiety audio. If you find yourself with many troublesome worries about your health, you may be experiencing health anxiety. This booklet aims to help you work out if health anxiety is a problem for you. It describes the signs of health anxiety and suggest ways of managing this difficulty which may help you overcome the problem.
  • Panic: Panic booklet and panic audio aims to help you reduce your panic attacks by helping you to recognise whether or not you are having panic attacks; understand panic, what causes it and what keeps it going; accept that panic cannot harm you; and learn techniques to reduce panic.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD booklet and PTSD audio was written by psychologists and aims to help you understand these and other common reactions to trauma and offers some practical suggestions to help you cope.
  • Social Anxiety: Shyness and social anxiety booklet and social anxiety audio aims to help you to recognise whether you may have a problem with social anxiety; understand what it is, what can cause it, and what can help keep it going; and look at ways you can help to overcome social anxiety.
  • Stress: Stress booklet and stress audio tells you more about stress and helps you to see if stress is a problem for you. It makes simple suggestions about how to manage stress and what other help may be available.
Relaxation techniquesNHS library of audio files to help relieve stress and gain a sense of well-being.
Teaching resources for wellbeing from Public Health England

Resources to help students

“Here is a promise, and a fact…”“You will never, in your life, ever have to deal with anything more than the next minute. However much it feels like you are approaching an event – an exam, a conversation, a decision, a kiss – where if you screw it up, the entire future will burn in hell in front of you, and you will end, you will not.
“That will never happen. That is not what happens. The minutes always come one at a time, inside days that come one at a time – all orderly strung, like pearls on a necklace, suspended in a graceful line. You will never, ever have to deal with more than the next 60 seconds. Do the calm right thing that needs to be done in that minute. The work, or the breathing, or the smile. And if you can do a minute, you can do the next.”

Caitlin Moran

Recognising and responding to anxietySummary of things to look out for and ways of responding, two-page PDF from Trauma Informed Schools UK.
Sources of stress for young peoplePoster from Mental Health First Aid England.
What do to if you’re feeling anxious about the coronavirusIdeas from Young Minds.
Watch this to settle yourself – it’s beautifulShort time-lapse film on YouTube.
Tips on managing stress from Mental Health First Aid England
Dealing with
uncertainty
Advice and tools from summer 2020 from Mental Health UK’s Bloom programme, plenty of which remains relevant.
Managing anxiety – a guide for studentsComprehensive guide from Birmingham Education Partnership explaining anxiety and offering suggestions and organisations to try.
Starting university: A guide for studentsGuide with information and advice from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
Top Tips For Feeling GoodThis booklet from Anna Freud lists some things that young people have found helped them feel better when they felt sad, stressed or angry and some things that help you feel good generally.
Soothing Pack 1
Soothing Pack 2
Mental Health support Soothing Packs from The Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies (BCAT).
How to breathe to relieve stressSit comfortably with a straight back. ──── Place your left hand on your chest, and right hand below it, on your diaphragm. ──── Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 seconds. ──── Hold your breath for 2 seconds. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Feel the expansion in your diaphragm. Repeat for 1-2 minutes until you feel calm.
Positive Mental AttitudeEight tips:

  1. Remember that you are powerful.
  2. Choose to embrace life.
  3. Realise that you get to control your reactions.
  4. Stop identifying with other people’s opinions and become aware of how you see yourself.
  5. If you focus on what you have, and not on what you lack, you will always have enough.
  6. Love yourself.
  7. Stay cool.
  8. Every minute you are living is a blessing that has to be experienced in the moment.
Test AnxietyHelp if you find tests and exams make you anxious, from Anxiety Canada. Sections are:

  • Identifying test anxiety
  • Think about thinking
  • Coping with test anxiety
  • Tips for test success
  • How to study
Coping with pressure at schoolBooklet from Young Minds with advice for dealing with the tough bits and handling the odd bad day so you can focus on the good ones. Covers:

  • Worried about school?
  • Struggling with the work?
  • Exams and Tests
  • Making friends
  • Peer Pressure
  • Bullying
  • Don’t want to go to school?
  • Who can help?
BreathingSimple calm.com graphic to help slow and control breathing when you are feeling anxious.
Test Anxiety Prevention PlanA document you can fill in to monitor and help.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust: Self-help booklets
  • Anxiety: Anxiety booklet and anxiety audio aims to help you recognise whether or not you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety; understand what anxiety is, what can cause it, what can keep it going; and overcome your anxiety by learning better ways of coping with it.
  • Health Anxiety: Health Anxiety booklet and health anxiety audio. If you find yourself with many troublesome worries about your health, you may be experiencing health anxiety. This booklet aims to help you work out if health anxiety is a problem for you. It describes the signs of health anxiety and suggest ways of managing this difficulty which may help you overcome the problem.
  • Panic: Panic booklet and panic audio aims to help you reduce your panic attacks by helping you to recognise whether or not you are having panic attacks; understand panic, what causes it and what keeps it going; accept that panic cannot harm you; and learn techniques to reduce panic.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD booklet and PTSD audio was written by psychologists and aims to help you understand these and other common reactions to trauma and offers some practical suggestions to help you cope.
  • Social Anxiety: Shyness and social anxiety booklet and social anxiety audio aims to help you to recognise whether you may have a problem with social anxiety; understand what it is, what can cause it, and what can help keep it going; and look at ways you can help to overcome social anxiety.
  • Stress: Stress booklet and stress audio tells you more about stress and helps you to see if stress is a problem for you. It makes simple suggestions about how to manage stress and what other help may be available.

See also:

Resources to help parents and carers

Recognising and responding to anxietySummary of things to look out for and ways of responding, two-page PDF from Trauma Informed Schools UK.
Sources of stress for young peoplePoster from Mental Health First Aid England.
Supporting a child with anxietyA guide for parents and carers from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, includes understanding anxiety, how to help, practical ideas, and support for you.
Spotting the signs of stressThe Stress Continuum from Supportive resources for Colorado healthcare workers.
Anxiety in Children: A Metaphor to Put You In Their Shoes (And Right Beside Them)Explanation of how anxiety works and how to help, from Hey Sigmund.
YoungMinds’ Wellbeing Activity CalendarTo help the whole family take 5 minutes a day to do an activity to boost wellbeing and look after your
mental health.
Dan Hughes’ 24 S’s: A guide for raising your troubled or sensitive childTwenty-four things to try to increase or decrease shown on one page.
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust: Self-help booklets
  • Anxiety: Anxiety booklet and anxiety audio aims to help you recognise whether or not you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety; understand what anxiety is, what can cause it, what can keep it going; and overcome your anxiety by learning better ways of coping with it.
  • Health Anxiety: Health Anxiety booklet and health anxiety audio. If you find yourself with many troublesome worries about your health, you may be experiencing health anxiety. This booklet aims to help you work out if health anxiety is a problem for you. It describes the signs of health anxiety and suggest ways of managing this difficulty which may help you overcome the problem.
  • Panic: Panic booklet and panic audio aims to help you reduce your panic attacks by helping you to recognise whether or not you are having panic attacks; understand panic, what causes it and what keeps it going; accept that panic cannot harm you; and learn techniques to reduce panic.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD booklet and PTSD audio was written by psychologists and aims to help you understand these and other common reactions to trauma and offers some practical suggestions to help you cope.
  • Social Anxiety: Shyness and social anxiety booklet and social anxiety audio aims to help you to recognise whether you may have a problem with social anxiety; understand what it is, what can cause it, and what can help keep it going; and look at ways you can help to overcome social anxiety.
  • Stress: Stress booklet and stress audio tells you more about stress and helps you to see if stress is a problem for you. It makes simple suggestions about how to manage stress and what other help may be available.
Grounding Techniques & Self Soothing for Emotional Regulation
Blog with many things to try from Eddins Counseling Group. Grounding techniques are useful when we feel distressed, overwhelmed emotionally, triggered or mentally removed from the present moment.
Relaxation techniquesNHS library of audio files to help relieve stress and gain a sense of well-being.