stress, anxiety, worry, child, children

Our children’s anxiety workshop oversubscribed 400%

Demand for places at our workshop on anxiety, stress and OCD in young people this week was so high that we had to change venue to accommodate everyone. We had planned the evening based on ten people attending our clinic in Guildford but as teachers, therapists and parents kept on enrolling we realised we couldn’t fit everyone it. Fortunately when the numbers exceeded 20 the Royal Grammar School in Guildford stepped in and offered their premises. In total 43 people attended the evening which involved supper and workshops run by clinical psychologists Bruce Holroyd and Dr Lucy Hale; counselling psychologist Dr Ann Fitzgerald who all have practices at Healthcare on Demand and specialist play therapist Dr Paula Reed. Adrian Woodman, Deputy Head of the Royal Grammar School, said: “We were delighted to host this event which addresses a growing concern in education that young people, more than ever before, require an awareness and understanding of anxiety and related issues.  Collaboration between healthcare professionals and educationalists can only strengthen the pastoral support available in schools.” Attendees came from across Surrey with some coming from much further afield.  School nurses from Portsmouth Grammar School in Hampshire and Learning Mentors from Wyton on the Hill Primary School in Cambridgeshire came to learn more about how they could help their pupils. Mary Clair Kelly a counsellor at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate – a state boarding school catering for boys and girls aged seven up to 18 years – said: “We’ve noticed over 50% of referrals to our school counsellors are for stress and anxiety.  Lots of children struggle with relationship issues, exam stress or social pressures and social media – it’s a growing problem for schools.  We have a duty to help the children and the parents so it’s fantastic to come to this workshop and learn more.  It was very affordable and the speakers have been really good.” Bruce Holroyd said: “It’s been brilliant to see such a positive response from schools putting forward their staff to attend.  Children and young people spend so much time at school and it presents some of their greatest sources of stress.  Schools therefore have to manage that stress and anxiety, support their students and foster good self-esteem and emotional resiliency to help them throughout their lives.” Timed to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week the workshop is one of a series that we are running throughout the year.  Future workshops include Women’s Mental and Physical Health over 40; Autistic Spectrum Disorders; Depression in young people and Eating Disorders, Self-Esteem and Body Image. Following requests from attendees at the event, the team here have agreed to develop a programme to address the very serious issues of self-harm and suicide in young people. We anticipate this will run in the autumn of 2015, after the start of the new term.