< Knowledge center Anxiety & Stress for Youth

For pupils

What is anxiety?

Everyone is scared sometimes. An anxious feeling can be very helpful. It’s a natural reaction that alerts you to danger. Your body is getting ready to respond so you can run or fight. For example, your heart beats faster and your muscles tense. This is a healthy response. If you’re having problems at school, at home, or with your health, you may also often feel anxious about them, but these feelings usually subside when your problems subside.

You can also often be afraid without a clear cause for this. Or if the danger or the problem is actually not that great. For example, you are afraid to go to certain places (a square or public transport), or not to do certain things (give a speech, have your blood drawn). Or you worry a lot about everything, so you often can’t sleep well or concentrate.

If you are afraid so often, this bothers you a lot and you don’t dare to do ‘ordinary’ or important things, you may have an anxiety disorder. By avoiding (avoiding) things, the fear does not get less, but often worse. For example, it can become increasingly difficult to go to school, make and keep friends, do fun things or work.

If you notice your anxiety getting worse, don’t keep walking around with it. The sooner you tackle them, the easier it will be to get rid of them. Talk about it with friends, your parents, your teacher, the doctor or, for example, a confidant at school.

Where can I find more information?

You can find information about anxiety in many places. Below we collect links to reliable websites and organizations.

Brainwiki - for youth

On this website you can read everything about fear. What’s up with that? Do I have that? And who else? How do I deal with it? What treatment is there for me? Read about peers and what to do if you get into trouble.

Thuisarts - for youth

On this website you can read how to recognize fear in yourself, what you can do, when you may need help and where you can find it.

Youth Help Online

Looking for a listening ear? On this website you will find various organizations where you can go anonymously and free of charge with your questions for help, online or by telephone.

Bibbers - for children

Are you sometimes very afraid? Or are you often afraid? Check out this website for information, tips and exercises.

What can the Knowledge Center for Anxiety & Stress in Youth do for me?

Many children and young people sometimes suffer from stress and anxious feelings. You too? And would you like to suffer less from this? Then the training sessions of the SPIL program might be something for you.

We have two types of training:

In Je Sas! - for youth aged 12-17

For young people with social anxiety who experience shyness (e.g. difficulty speaking in front of class, meeting up with friends or making new friends).

What does the training entail?
12 weekly meetings, after school in a group. Together we do exercises and tackle challenges. For example:
• Speak in front of a group
• Make new friends
• Start a conversation with strangers
• Dealing with Shyness

We also work with an app. With this app you can:
• Gain insight into your thoughts, behavior and feelings
• Get support from the trainers and group members during the week

Kids beat Anxiety (KibA) - for children and youth aged 7-14

For children and young people who are very afraid of certain animals, things or situations (e.g. spiders, wasps, the dentist, vomiting, clowns, dogs, blood).

What does the training entail?
7 individual appointments, together with your parents. You team up with your trainer to overcome your fear.

The training includes:
• 1 preparatory session: which situation(s) are you afraid of?
• 1 practice session of three hours: how can you handle this?
• 4 weeks of self-practice with tips from the trainer or using an app

Would you like more information? We would love to hear from you! Please contact us at kas@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.


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