Session 1
Understanding Youth with Anxiety

Anxiety in youth in care

Youth who are living in care have experienced unbearable separation from their primary attachments. For Indigenous youth, this includes disconnection from community, land and traditional life ways. They experience anxiety as a natural response to too much separation.

It is useful to use a tree to explain the difference between behavioural, cognitive and emotional perspectives on anxiety. The behaviours associated with anxiety are the most obvious and easy to see, much like the leaves of the tree. However, if the leaves are drying out, we do not water the leaves themselves—we must go deeper. At the trunk of tree, we see the cognitive symptoms and ongoing worry and fear. To reduce the behaviours and thoughts related to anxiety we must address the root cause—the emotion of alarm found beneath the surface, in the tree’s roots—which can be hard to identify.

Ashley's Story

As you go thru the course, hear the firsthand perspective of Ashley, a former youth in care.

Click on the forward arrow to see the example of a tree to understand anxiety as a symptom of alarm:

Too many sweaters: a story about an Indigenous youth

'It's your path but you don't have to walk it alone.'

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