At Phase we are passionate about helping young people live life in all of its fullness, to reach their full potential and thrive. However, due to the pandemic, we have seen a rise in mental health issues and a high level of anxiety. A survey carried out by Young Minds in January 2021 found that:
67% of young people believed that the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health.
75% of respondents agreed that they have found the current lockdown harder to cope with than the previous ones.
Therefore it is vital that we are helping young people at this time to be able to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
At Phase one way in which we are supporting young people is through our ‘Let’s Talk Anxiety Support Group'. This group consists of 6 sessions each for an 1 hour and over the course aims to explain anxiety in a way that helps the young people to understand themselves more, as well as providing practical tools and strategies that they can use and take with them to be able to manage their anxiety well. The group is delivered in a small group context with 6-8 young people and offers a safe space for them, as well as a source of support and encouragement. Over the past couple of months, we ran the group virtually and now are back to running the groups in person within the Hitchin secondary schools.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion, one that helps us to avoid dangerous situations and motivates us to do our best under pressure, but when it becomes extreme it can become debilitating and interfere with day to day living.
By a young person being part of the 'Let's Talk Anxiety Support Group', it helps them to realise that they are not alone in what they are experiencing, which is one of the things that the young people repeatedly report as being one of real the positives of the group.
What the young people say about the group:
I found the group really helpful because I learnt things that I didn't know or realise before.
My hope was to stop feeling anxious about certain things and they suggested things to help me with that.
The best part about the group was learning some new techniques and talking to other people.
The best part about the group was knowing I wasn't the only one.
In session four of the group one of the activities that we get the young people to do is to build their own toolkit for managing their anxiety by sharing ideas as a group. These include thinking about; what they find relaxing to watch, something they could listen too e.g. relaxing music, who they could connect with e.g. family as well as certain breathing technqiues that they might find helpful for those moments when they feel anxious.
Why not have a go at creating your own toolkit, it can be helpful for thinking about what helps you to feel relaxed....
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