Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Foundation Guide

A Tour of Our Global Community of Giving

Anxiety Disorders in Children – And How to Help

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Anxiety is prevalent amongst all age groups, with most anxiety disorders beginning in childhood or early adolescence. Statistics show that anxiety disorders affect 31.9% of adolescents between 13 and 18 years old. 

Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders, the most common being Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which affects roughly 3.1% of the United States population, yet only 43.2% of those affected receive treatment.

Phobias are another type of anxiety disorder, which affects 9.1% of the United States population. Symptoms typically begin in childhood, with the average age of onset being seven years old.

Phobias Or Fears

There is an important difference between normal childhood fears, and specific phobias. Many children experience “stranger anxiety” around 8-9 months old, separation anxiety at 10 months to 2 years old, and fear of imaginary things around 4-6 years old.

Most children are able to cope with these common fears and worries with support from parents and carers, overcoming them as they grow older. If a child has difficulty doing so, or if fears are extreme or hinder them from living normally and comfortably, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder

Treatment

Receiving treatment in childhood, while the brain is still at its most malleable, could assist with more typical brain development throughout a child’s life – but receiving treatment can be difficult; nationally, the average ratio is one child psychiatrist for every 1,800 children under the age of 18 who need the help. 

Foundation Guide - charities for children with anxiety disorders

There is a variety of organizations that help advocate for proper treatment for children with anxiety disorders, by distributing links to low-cost services as well as providing free resources: 

On Our Sleeves

On Our Sleeves, is an organization whose mission is to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues in children. They provide free evidence-based guides to educate families and help them advocate for their children.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Anxiety and Depression Association of America is a charity which aims to help people overcome mental health difficulties through providing educational resources, professional practice, and research. Since their founding, the organization has impacted the lives of millions of people living with mental health difficulties. 

In 2021, the organization connected 65,000 people who were going through similar challenges, fostering positive interactions. To contribute to the organization, you can donate directly via their website.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Alliance on Mental Illness provides support to people suffering from mental illness, including anxiety. The organization works to raise awareness and provide support to those in need in communities across the United States. The National Alliance on Mental Illness features classes for people struggling, as well as family members. 

They also provide peer support to those seeking guidance and resources. In 2021, the organization distributed $3.5 million in grants to advance the work of their network. To help support and advocate for mental health, you can donate to the organization’s website.

What You Can Do

In addition to monetary donations, many charities and organizations that help support children with anxiety disorders desperately need volunteers. If this cause is close to your heart, we encourage you to search your local area for organizations that require volunteer work.

If your child is suffering from anxiety disorders, remember that help is out there; in addition to receiving treatment and support from external sources, it is also important to acknowledge if a child seems to have anxious feelings. Try to regulate their physiological responses, and reason with them by helping them think through their experience and offer guidance.

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