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Gaining Insight into Youth with Anxiety

Description and Learning Outcomes

Session 1 provides you with insight into anxiety and describes how you can safely and respectfully support youth through your relationship with them.

Session 1 explores the possible roots of anxiety for youth in care and encourages culturally safe, relational responses. By gaining a deeper insight into anxiety, we hope you are empowered to walk alongside the youth in your care who is experiencing anxiety while considering their identities, cultures, families, and lineages. A relational response is especially important for Indigenous youth who come from traditions of healing that are holistic, place-based, and that centre relationship and interconnectedness as essential to restoration of balance in body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Session 1, you should be able to:

  • Recognize symptoms of anxiety including thoughts and behaviours commonly associated with anxiety.
  • Consider sources of anxiety for youth in care who have unmet needs and who have experienced unwanted changes, disruption, and compromised safety.
  • Look beyond symptoms to identify unmet needs of anxious youth in care.

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A Story About Indigenous Youth:
‘Too Many Sweaters’

Comparing Models of Mental Health

There are significant differences between Indigenous and Western models of mental health. The Indigenous model is more holistic, linking healing with relationships and connection to the land. Consequences of historical trauma and the lasting effects of colonization are emerging areas of research, and the use of Western empirical methods in studies has been critiqued as a form of continued colonization.

Bellamy and Hardy stress that Western and Indigenous ways of knowing need to exist together, without a hierarchy, to uncover benefits from both systems and gain an understanding that the world can be viewed in different ways ((Murphy, 2017, para. 3)).

Source: Anxiety Disorders and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: The Current State of Knowledge and Directions for Future Research

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

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