View the article published on Stuff here.
21 September 2021
Life Education Trust delivers workshop to support local teachers to navigate anxiety in young people
Life Education Trust monthly outcomes report continues to identify anxiety as a major concern for young people in schools. According to the reports 89% of school leaders see anxiety as an issue for school children with 40% reporting it is a significant issue.
The monthly reporting identified anxiety amongst Life Education Trust Marlborough school leaders as 87% overall concern and within that 39% reporting it as a significant issue.
“As part of our outcomes tracking each month we capture school leader’s views on the issues in their school. We focus on anxiety, vaping, online bullying and pornography and have seen anxiety increase to 89%. This compares with the next significant issue, online bullying which has dropped from 62% last year to 59% this year. Vaping has grown over the last 12 months from 18 to 28%,” says Chief Executive of Life Education Trust NZ, John O’Connell.
A recently released University of Auckland study* showed last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns significantly increased mental distress in New Zealand children.
As a result of this growing concern Life Education, with support from Anxiety NZ, is holding a teacher workshop in Blenheim on 22 September. The workshops are being rolled out nationwide to support teachers to recognise symptoms, and how to support children and whānau when symptoms of anxiety first present themselves as a proactive approach.
“We know that last year was harder for young people with additional concerns arising from COVID-19. This year’s lockdowns will also have an impact. Children today are seeing global events unfold as they happen with updated streams to phones and other devices, without the ability to process these adult concepts. It’s a far cry from past generations where children were isolated from this information, which was gained by reading newspapers or brief TV news stories once a day,” says O’Connell.
Over 50 teachers have registered to take part in the teacher-focused workshop which will offer insights into childhood anxiety and strategies to support anxious children. The workshop recognises that teachers are often the first port of call for families who are concerned about their child’s emotional wellbeing or behaviour.
In 2020 Life Education partnered with Anxiety NZ to create Healthy Minds as a response to increased demand from schools to support and teach resilience and stress management. Healthy Minds helps empower young people to grow their hauora and meet challenges with resilience.
Life Education Trust has been educating children in Aotearoa about health and wellbeing for over 33 years. Today, they are New Zealand’s largest health education provider in schools, used by 86% of primary schools.
Teachers working for Life Education have an average of nearly ten years classroom experience each, before choosing to specialise as health teachers. The Healthy Minds program is supported by Anxiety NZ team of clinicians.
When: 22 September 2021, 4.00 - 5.30pm
Where: Whitehaven Room, ASB Theatre, Blenheim