Otago Polytechnic
Letting Go Mitch 9 Sep 11 CC BY NC 2.0

Managing anxiety

Children are increasingly suffering from anxiety, but help is at hand.

A group of Nursing students spent several weeks investigating the communities of Milton and Waihola and identifying community health issues. Their research included interviews with key personnel and a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). One of the vulnerable populations they identified was youth, in particular the mental health of those aged 5 to 18 who were experiencing increasing anxiety.

The team, who were supervised by Dr Jean Ross, then researched ways to address anxiety and hence what they could do to help. They developed a poster with tips for children on calming themselves down, using techniques they called Puffer-Fish Puff, Clam Cuddle, Turtle Tongue, and Starfish Stretch. The students also developed a stress ball design (see illustration below) as another tool to help the children relieve tension. These resources have been produced and distributed to local schools.

Image credit: Mitch, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC 2.0

February 2019