According to an article in Psychology Today, “Anxiety is now the number one mental health problem worldwide, and the incidence of anxiety continues to rise, especially among young people.” It’s not hard to understand how children and teens can have anxiety because of the past two years of COVID-19 and the changes they’ve been through in school, in our economy, and in our world. . Even if they don’t pay close attention to these things, they often hear conversations around them that can make them helpless.
Kelsey Atkinson, a Masters in Social Work intern at Utah Valley University, and a close friend and colleague of mine, is trying to treat anxiety in children and adolescents as part of her internship. Through Hobble Creek Behavioral Health in Spanish Fork, she has set up two programs to help young people manage and control their stress.
Its program for teens is a workshop called “Teen Skills and Support Group for Stuff that Sucks”. These sessions are based on the ACT model – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – which gives teens the space to develop psychological flexibility, the ability to roll with the punches and focus on the things that matter. matter in their lives. The sessions will be co-led by Atkinson and Madeline Norman, Bachelor of Social Work intern.
The group is open to teens ages 13 to 17 and runs from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays. It will run from March 3 to April 28 at Hobble Creek Behavioral Health. Parents can register their teens by calling (435)-314-9623. There is a $5 fee per session.
The other support provided by Atkinson is a conscious movement class for children. According to Atkinson, “Children (and everyone else) who have difficulty regulating their emotions often feel disconnected from their bodies. According to the polyvagal theory, conscious (or intentional) movements and breathing activities can activate the vagal nerve and help in the regulation process.
The goal of this class is to help children feel a connection to their body while calming down and learn skills to help them regulate their daily lives. Participants will be given skills to take home so parents can help them practice movement and breathing exercises at home.
This workshop will take place from Saturday to April 23. If you miss the first session, you can still register at (435)-314-9623. These classes are also held at Hobble Creek Behavioral Health. Children ages 5 to 7 participate on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. and ages 8 to 11 meet from 11 to noon. There is also a nominal fee of $5 per week. Children of all levels are welcome.