The challenges


Here you’ll find information and links on some of the challenges that may face young people, such as mental and emotional health issues, drugs and alcohol, bullying and technology use.  The resources offer links and support tools other parents have previously found helpful, but they don’t replace professional advice. If you have serious concerns about your child, please take these up quickly with the School, your GP or another suitably qualified health professional.

If you have suggestions for other resources which other parents might find helpful, please share them with us by emailing us at [email protected]

Anxiety, stress and depression
Tedx Talk on preventing anxiety in children by Professor Jennie Hudson

Professor Jennie Hudson has spoken to parents at Mosman High School on ‘Understanding anxiety in our children and how parents can best help’.  In her Tedx Talk she covers similar themes.

Areas of relevance: anxiety, resilience, depression, emotional health

Speaker: Professor Jennie Hudson is a researcher at the Centre for Emotional Health in the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.   Her research focuses on anxiety disorders in children and adolescents, specifically the role of parents in the development of anxiety disorders in youth. Her work also focuses on the prevention and treatment of children’s emotional health problems using cognitive behavioural therapy.

Prof. Hudson has co-authored a book ‘Treating anxious children: An evidence-based approach’ (2000) and edited a book “Psychopathology and the Family” (2006).   In recognition of her achievements, Prof. Hudson has received awards from a number of organisations including Australian Psychological Society, Anxiety Disorders Association of America, The Australian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and The Australian Institute of Political Sciences.

Why I, as a parent, liked it: “Jennie provides a simple conceptual framework for how parents can encourage children to be ‘courageous’; supporting them in becoming resilient and helping prevent anxiety and depression.  I like her practical and accessible style while being reassured that her approach is informed by excellent research. She also displays an empathy with the dilemmas parents face.”

Helping Your Anxious Child

This book is a step-by-step guide for parents on helping their anxious child, written by Australian academics who specialise in this area.

Book title: Helping Your Anxious Child – A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents

Authors: Ronald M Rapee, Susan H Spence, Vanessa Cobham, Ann Wignall, Heidi Lyneham

Publisher: New Harbinger Publications 2008

Why I, as a parent, like it: “The book initially provides a context for understanding anxiety in children and the way in which their thoughts and feelings affect anxiety but then it quickly moves on to practical techniques and exercises which parents can use with their children. I like the clear simple language that is used to provide parents with a framework for helping their child learn to think more realistically, handle social situations, be assertive and relax.  Techniques such as ‘detective thinking’ offer both the parent and the child a ‘tool kit’ that they can come back to again and again in different situations. The approach is grounded and accessible.”

MoodGYM

A website which gives young people additional support and preventative strategies for helping themselves in the context of anxiety and depression.

Areas of relevance: Resilience, mindfulness, meditation, anxiety, depression, body image

Authors: Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University, in collaboration with other researchers and mental health experts.

What it does: The website describes it as follows: “MoodGYM is an innovative, interactive web program designed to prevent depression in young people. It consists of five modules, an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment.

Using flashed diagrams and online exercises, MoodGYM teaches the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy – a proven treatment for depression. It also demonstrates the relationship between thoughts and emotions, and works through dealing with stress and relationship break-ups, as well as teaching relaxation and meditation techniques.”

Why I, as a parent, liked it:“This web-based program is not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by qualified health professionals, but it gives young people strategies for helping themselves, and for understanding why they feel the way they do. It’s free and it’s private.”

Centre for Emotional Health

The Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University has a wealth of resources for families around stress, anxiety and depression.

Areas of relevance: stress, anxiety, practical programs, emotional health, depression, mental health.

Authors: researchers and psychologist practitioners at the Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University.

What it does: The website provides some general information on emotional health but primarily it is an access point to the courses, counselling services and publications that have been produced by the Centre on emotional health, anxiety, depression and related mental health issues.  It is part of the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University.

Why I, as a parent, liked it: “Decisions around our children’s emotional health are amongst the hardest we make in our lives, I want to be sure that the people I am talking to have expertise, care about my child and are able to give me practical advice which makes a difference.  Ideally I also want to be given techniques that we as a family can continue to use, rather than constantly relying on external professional input.  I found that the approach of the Centre for Emotional Health delivered this to my family: their approach is research informed and they focus on teaching parents and children practical strategies which they can use in everyday life.”

Youth Beyond Blue

A website aimed at young people providing advice on why they may be feeling anxious or suffering depression, how to alleviate those feelings and how to help friends or relations who may be in trouble.  Also provides 24-hour help line and evening chatline.

Areas of relevance: Resilience, communication and relationships, parent-child relationships, identity, mindfulness, anxiety, depression, body image, self harm, bullying, sexual identity.

Authors:Beyond Blue, an independent not-for-profit organisation, working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the Australian community

What it does: The website provides background information to understanding why we may feel anxiety and suffer depression; it offers concise information on what we can do to alleviate these feelings; and gives advice on how to help friends or relatives who may be in trouble. It supplies a 24-hour help line, a 4pm to 10pm chat line, and a directory of doctors and mental-health practitioners.

Why I, as a parent, liked it: “This website talks directly to young people, it’s concise, practical, not condescending. It gives step-by-step advice on how to get help for anxiety and depression, including how to find the right practitioner for you, how to talk to family and friends about your feelings, and your rights to privacy.”

Disclaimer:

The Wellbeing resources are supplied for the benefit of the parents of Mosman High School students. The organisations listed are not sponsored or endorsed by MHS P&C. We make every effort to review the resources supplied as to their suitability for our audience but if you find something within these materials which offends you, which is out of date, or which is obviously wrong advice, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]