< Knowledge center Anxiety & Stress for Youth

For schools

What is anxiety?

Fear is a normal and useful emotion that warns you about danger. Developing and developing yourself is also part of challenges and sometimes overcoming fears. For some students, however, fears grow into impregnable thresholds and all -more problems.

When someone is regularly very anxious, this fear is out of proportions (and is unreal), and gives considerable limitations that greatly disrupt life, we speak of an anxiety disorder.

Fear complaints are the most common mental problems worldwide and often arise in childhood. These complaints usually do not pass on their own and can lead to loneliness, other psychological disorders, substance abuse, social problems, deteriorated school performance or school dropouts.

Anxiety complaints are often not recognized in time, because they manifest themselves in physical complaints, withdrawn behavior, or in other behavioral problems or school refusal, whereby underlying fears are not always considered. When young people only get help when complaints escalate, a long -term and expensive treatment process is often needed, for which there are also long waiting lists. In the event of early intervention, most of the fear complaints can be remedied with proven effective interventions.

Where can I find more information?

Many organizations provide information or support for schools regarding student anxiety. We will be adding to the overview below in the near future.

Knowledge Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Knowledge Center KJP offers information for schools about fear, what the school can do to signal it, and how to respond.

Dutch Center for Youth Health

The NCJ focuses mainly on professionals within youth healthcare and shares guidelines about identification, support and guidance to the right care. For healthcare workers in and around school this summary might be a handy overview.

Dutch Youth Institute

The NJI offers general comprehensive information about anxiety, various anxiety disorders and risk factors.

Articles, videos, podcasts, radio broadcasts and more…

NPO Radio 1 immersed itself in the talk show Spraakmakers a week in fear in children. How do fears develop, what is the impact on a child and his environment and how do you deal with anxiety?

Radio LEF (Leiden Education Fieldlab) made a podcast about the SPIL-program: lister here.

Ellin Simon & Petra Butler wrote a clear article about fear in students for the journal ‘Beter Guiding’ (LBBO) with tips and tricks for teachers.

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


From 1 February 2021, the Knowledge Center for Anxiety and Stress in Youth will offer a telephone helpline for teachers and healthcare workers in and around the school. They can call with questions about anxiety in students, such as: How do you recognize anxiety? What can you do in class? Where can a student get appropriate help?

We can be reached on +31 71 527 5464 and have open office hours on working days from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can then call for short questions (max 10 min).

Do you want to submit a question or issue that takes more time? Then you can schedule an appointment with us of half an hour on the same days. You can reach us during open consultation hours or send an e-mail to kas@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

Of course you can also submit your questions to us by e-mail!


We provide short presentations (10-15 min) about anxiety in students and about our offers, for school teams or other organizations involved in the care of students. Interested? Send an e-mail to kas@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.


From spring 2021, we will regularly organize workshops for teachers, IB staff and support coordinators. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for the dates and more information, or express your interest via kas@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.


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