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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is extreme and persistent worry that interferes with daily living and symptoms can include panic attacks, physical fear reactions and attempts to avoid the situation. It is common for children to feel anxious in certain situations, but some children experience levels of anxiety that are beyond what would be expected for their age and developmental level, and this can stop them participating in school or other activities or interfere with their ability to do what other children and adolescents their age do. Nearly half of all children with a mental disorder experience an anxiety disorder.

Three ways to help your anxious child

Advice for parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s anxiety

Most children get anxious from time to time and with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, your child could be feeling more unsettled than normal. But if the anxiety isn’t going away or stops your child from enjoying normal activities, it could be time to seek help.

Telethon Kids Institute Senior Research Fellow Dr Monique Robinson shares her advice for parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s anxiety.

Advice about anxiety

What is depression?

Depression is more than feeling sad. It can include being tired all the time, feeling sick, headaches and muscle pains, a churning gut, sleep problems, loss or change of appetite and significant weight loss or gain. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide - two out of five children and adolescents with major depressive disorder experience a severe impact on their lives. 

How to recognise depression in teens

If your child needs help with a mental health problem, or if you have concerns and are unsure if you or your child may need assistance, you can visit your regular GP or contact any of the following services:

Lifeline        13 11 14

Kids Helpline        1800 55 1800

headspace        1800 650 890

beyondblue        1300 22 4636


Mental Health Commission