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By Alicia King, Information Officer 

Rise of adolescents suffering from anxiety 

According to Ministry of Health (2018) the number of adolescents suffering from anxiety over the past decade has risen significantly and it is evident that we need to take a preventative approach as it can significantly affect their social and academic functioning and can lead into depression. 

The signs of anxiety: 

· They are unable to do things due to feeling so overwhelmed with worry 

· Inability to relax 

· Display excessive fear and worry for no apparent reason that interferes with their daily activities 

Anxiety triggers:

· Social media 

· Information overload era 

· Changes (body, hormones, relationships) 

· Divorce, national standards pressure 

The influence of social media for adolescents these days plays a significant role in adding to the pressures that adolescents already face. Adolescents are bombarded with images and negative news stories about their environment (climate change), housing affordability and their future career paths. 

Strategies to help them cope:

· Actively listen to your teenagers so they feel understood. 

· Spend more time with your children and be more connected in their life. 

· Be better role models and be positive and supportive without adding extra pressure. 

The risk of not seeking help for your teenager could negatively affect their development and impact their relationships, academic performance and their social and mental wellbeing. 

Services to help:

Prime Ministers Youth Mental Health project funds an online e-therapy tool that helps young people with anxiety and depression https://www.sparx.org.nz/

https://www.anxiety.org.nz/ – Offer free helpline 7 days a week 24 hours a day 0800 269 4389

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