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Supporting pupils with anxiety: Selected reading

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Teachers have a role to play in supporting children and adolescents to understand anxiety as part of the new RSHE curriculum, as well as needing to feel confident that they can support pupils with anxiety and recognise the impact it may have on the children they work with. This reading list collates articles and resources on supporting pupils to understand anxiety as part of the webinar on this topic in the ‘Pedagogy in practice‘ series.

Please note: the Chartered College of Teaching is not responsible for the content of any external links.

Understanding anxiety

ACAMH’s ‘Ask the Expert’ webinar recording – Anxiety; Cues, Clues & Support for Young People in School offers insights into the latest evidence-base around anxiety in children and adolescents

ACAMH’s ‘Mythbusting anxiety’ webinar recording focuses on the facts and busts some myths around anxiety

Helping children and young people to manage anxiety‘ is a helpful guide from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families.

Anxiety – what teachers should know sets out facts on anxiety disorders

Impact of OCD/Anxiety in school describes how anxiety and/or OCD can affect classroom behaviour, academic performance and social interactions

Anxiety – what to look for in the classroom describes behaviours associated with anxiety

How to speak to students about anxiety offers guidance around explaining anxiety to students and addressing concerns

This article from The Conversation, ‘10 things parents and teachers can do to relieve pressure’, offers tips for supporting children and young people who are experiencing anxiety

This article from The Conversation, ‘How to help kids through stressful exam preparation’, highlights ways to help young people with high levels of exam-related stress or anxiety

Article on the impact of anxiety disorders on academic achievement reports on research into the relationship between anxiety disorders and premature withdrawal from school.


Specific topics and resources related to anxiety

This webpage contains a range of resources and ideas from Dr Tina Rae that have a specific focus on ‘back to school’ anxiety.

This longer video and this shorter video from Dr Tina Rae look at talking to children about war and supporting them in traumatic times, including considering the anxiety they may be feeling.

The briefing ‘Evidence-Informed Recommendations for Supporting Young People with Social Anxiety‘ from CoRAY is a helpful resource around social anxiety.

Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty‘ is not young-people specific but considers a key issue in the current context

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have published resources to support with ‘eco-anxiety’ – they note that ‘eco distress is not a diagnosis or mental illness. Feeling distressed or anxious about the world is normal and shows that young people care about the planet, but sometimes these feelings can be overwhelming and hard to deal with, especially at a young age’.


Climate anxiety

Climate change can negatively affecting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people around the world and may be a cause of anxiety among young people.

Lawrance et al. (2021) published a briefing paper on the impact of climate change on mental health and emotional wellbeing and research by Lawrance et al. (2022) discusses  young peoples’ psychological responses, mental health and sense of agency for the dual challenges of climate change and the global pandemic. 

Thompson and Lawrance et al.’s (2021) systematic review and meta-analysis explores the relationship between ambient temperatures and mental health outcomes and the World Health Organisation’s (2022) Mental health and Climate Change: Policy Brief is a key paper.

The ‘synergies of transforming society for a safer climate and healthier minds’ was discussed by Emma Lawrance for the Anna Freud Centre Transformation Seminar – the slides are available.

‘Keeping our planet in mind’ was the topic of a recent LSHTM/Wellcome webinar – James Diffey’s talk on ‘Why we need to talk about our climate-related feelings and one example of a tool that can help’ is available to watch back.

Force of Nature’s discussion guide for educators is a great resource and ‘Hold this Space’, a digital platform bringing together young people and scientists, includes useful resources.


Below are links to articles on specific aspects of climate-related anxiety.

Climate-related emotions and experiences

Impacts on mental health 

Coping and acting  


 Wider resources and training around anxiety

Mental Health Foundation: How to overcome fear and anxiety

Anxiety UK: National charity helping people with Anxiety.

Dr Tina Rae’s ‘CPD Coffee Time’ video on anxiety includes a range of ideas around understanding and managing anxiety in children.

Young Minds offer resources for children and young people, as well as their parents, around anxiety.

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