In this week’s podcast, Dale Pickles from B Squared is joined by Dr Tina Rae to discuss understanding and managing anxiety in children and young people.

Dr Tina Rae is a consultant psychologist. Tina has supported children, adults and families for over 30 years. She is currently working as Consultant Educational and Child Psychologist in a range of SEBD/SEMH and mainstream contexts, including Compass Fostering, supporting foster carers, social workers and Looked after children. She has held many positions in many places including a trustee of the Nurture Group Network and is a member of the editorial board for the journal Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and for the International Journal of Nurture in Education. She has also written over 100 publications.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in young people and adults, with a UK prevalence of around 6% for anxiety disorders; around 3% for depressive disorders. Around one in ten young people in the UK (aged 5 to 18) have a clinically diagnosed disorder (Green et al, 2005). The most common disorder in children / young people (and the general population) is Generalised Anxiety Disorder; followed by Depressive Disorder (McManus, Bebbington, Jenkins & Brugha, 2016).

The increase in Anxiety during the COVID pandemic is now well documented.

It is helpful therefore to provide parents/carers and school-based staff with access to relevant and useful information and strategies to support CYP.

  • Defining anxiety- what does it look and feel like
  • Practical approaches and techniques for supporting children and teens
  • How to answer ‘anxious’ questions
  • How to model effective thinking
  • School phobia – linked to the pandemic – top tips for supporting transition back to the classroom
  • Specific strategies to try – Anxiety ladders, apple technique, worry box, problem solving, challenging and breaking cycles of negative thinking and using positive thinking/self-talk

A recent survey undertaken by the charity Young Minds in March 2020 revealed that the current coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on young people with existing mental health conditions. Although they understood the need for the measures taken in response to the virus, the report says, this did not lessen the impact. Many of those who took part in the survey reported increased anxiety, problems with sleep, panic attacks or more frequent urges to self-harm.

Anxiety for all CYP has increased and there is a need for us as adults to understand how to effectively support them to manage and cope effectively so that this does not escalate to self-harming behaviours or worse.

Tina’s books can be found at Hinton House Publishers –

Rae, T. (2020) A Toolbox of Wellbeing Helpful strategies and activities for children, teens, their carers and teachers Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T., Such, A. & Wood, J. (2020) The Well Being Tool Kit for Mental health leads in schools A comprehensive Training Resource to Support Emotional Wellbeing in Education and Social Care Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T., Walshe, J. & Wood, J. (2020) Supporting Adolescents with anxiety and stress: Evidence based strategies Buckingham Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. (2020) Motivation Matters Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. (2019) Sensory Activity cards Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. (2019) Mindfulness Activity cards Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. (2019) Happy Habits Activity cards Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. & Such, A. (2019) The ASD Girls’ Wellbeing Toolkit An Evidence based Intervention Promoting Mental, Physical & Emotional Health Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers

Rae, T. (2019) The Well Being Tool Kit for Teens London: NurtureUK

Contact Dr Tina Rae

Twitter – @DrTinarae

Email –

For more podcast episodes from the SENDcast click below…

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