CHA shares tips on child anxiety

CARP – About 30 people attended Carp Health Access’ (CHA) latest Community Education Series event – a workshop for parents with a focus on child anxiety.

It was a good crowd to hear a strong line-up of mental health experts discussing the issues of anxiety and depression amongst Canadian youth.

The workshop focused on the current thinking on how the developing brain affects children’s behavior; ways to identify the causes and early signs of anxiety and depression; healthy coping strategies, protective factors, and practical tools; and community programs and services.

Subject matter experts from Ottawa Public Health, uOttawa, Family Services Ottawa and the Western Ottawa Community Centre (WOCRC) spoke on the issues.

Something adults might not think twice about, anxiety can come from unexpected sources the WOCRC’s Colleen Taylor said.

“Children can get anxious over birthday party invitations or sleepovers at grandma’s,” she said. “Building small steps – a visit with the parents, a visit alone, dinner at grandma’s, then a sleepover and a goal for the morning such as grandma’s famous waffles might help with the anxiety. It can be small, easy steps. Let the child lead the solution.”

And a short debrief doesn’t hurt either.

“Did it work?” Taylor said. “Evaluate the pros and cons.”

Following the presentations, attendees had the opportunity to have one-one-one conversations with the speakers over some refreshments.