Further resources on Anxiety and Stress

he following NEPS Handout has been developed by educational psychologists and is based on current knowledge in this area. It is intended as a guide only. Not all the advice here may apply to any one student or situation. Teachers and parents may wish to identify the strategies that will work best for them.

Panic Attacks can be very frightening for students and also for teachers who are with the student when they occur. The following NEPS resources on Panic Attacks  developed for teachers and for students respectively may offer support.
Practicing relaxation creates the opposite effects to stress and anxiety. There are many relaxation techniques and different things work for different people. Teachers can introduce relaxation practices into their classes and encourage the students to continue to practise these at home. The NEPS Relaxation Techniques resource provides a variety of exercises that may prove useful and can be distriubted to all members of staff.
As we go about our day, we say things to ourselves in our heads about the things that we or others do. This is called self-talk. We choose what we say to ourselves. It is likely that he/she is engaging in negative self-talk. When we are anxious we engage in faulty and irrational thinking which affects the way we feel and behave.

Writing down their thoughts can be a starting point in identifying the negative thoughts. The next step is to challenge these negative thoughts by asking “Is this really true?” and the last step is to replace these negative thoughts with positive, more reassuring ones.

Examples of positive thoughts are:

  • I am unique, I can be myself
  • I can try harder instead of giving up
  • I don’t have to be perfect. I can just try my best
  • I have done this before, I know I can do it again
  • I am not a fortune teller, I do not know what they are thinking

The NEPS 'Thoughts Log' Resource may prove useful for students in identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones. 

Thoughts Log

In November 2018 HSE launched a new mental health campaign specifically targeted at young people. The ‘Mind Monster’ campaign was developed to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health. Focussing on things that are known to cause stress and anxiety the campaign highlights the benefits that getting enough sleep, taking regular study breaks, spending less time on devices and sharing a problem with someone you trust can have on your mental health.

The HSE website YourMentalHealth.ie may be relevant to young people who access information online every day. They will be able to find personalised support options through a search tool that generates information on online resources, telephone and face-to-face services relevant to a wide range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and stress.

Information on Anxiety and Stress for Teachers and Guidance Counsellors, for Parents and for Students can be accessed on the School Guidance Handbook HERE.