Dictionary.com defines anxiety as “distress or uneasiness of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune”. Many individuals struggle with anxiety. As an individual dealing with anxiety, it can be really hard to go through school without anyone who truly understands.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. Anxiety can make school very difficult. It’s difficult to focus when one is having really bad anxiety or even a panic attack.
“Students have a lot of responsibilities, and sometimes students don’t have the support they need or the skills to manage all those things. I think that sometimes students also don’t like to ask for help because they think they are a burden,” Jennifer Hudson said.
It can be hard to understand if one does not suffer from anxiety. That’s how teachers can overlook when a student is having anxiety, or if they must leave the class because of their anxiety because most of the time teachers or staff don’t understand. But, that is starting to change. This year, teachers and staff of LSHS and Cavelero watched a movie called Angst. This film is about anxiety and mental health and shows the point of view of students with anxiety. The school district showed this to help staff understand issues surrounding anxiety and help them imagine what it’s like for us students.
The school system has been working on helping with things like group counseling at school, so more students can feel heard. Learning to cope with anxiety is very important, and the school can help by educating students about coping mechanisms in group counseling.
“In this school, we have counselors that have a lot of skills in dealing with anxiety like Mrs. Hudson. She is really good with helping students,” Annmarie Russell said.
Mrs. Hudson is our Mental Health Support Specialist and is a leader for student groups. In addition, she is open for one-on-one time with any student. Speaking from experience, he is amazing in helping students cope with their anxiety, and is really there for the students.
“Every week I try to pick an activity that is themed, whether it be to reduce anxiety or identify thoughts or change thoughts or recognize patterns. Those things are to be targeted toward reducing stress and increasing the ability to cope with it,” Jennifer Hudson said.
Anxiety will always be in our society, but learning to cope with it will help everyone. Lake Stevens High School can help anxiety-ridden students grow up knowing how to manage anxiety in healthy ways.