Creating Calm is an educational therapeutic support group for children and youth experiencing anxiety.  * Read below about 'What is anxiety'.

Children and youth will be taught a variety of skills to cope with and manage their anxiety. Parents will be offered methods to identify anxiety symptoms, and intervene to support the development of more confident, self-reliant behaviour in their children.

A pre-admittance interview is done with the parent. There is no cost to attend.

Ages: Groups have 6-8 participants and run four (4) times a year for two separate age groups:7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds.  

Attendance expectations: Groups run for 10 weeks;  8 weeks the children attend with parents coming for the last 20 minutes of each session & additionally 2 weeks are for the parents only.

The goals are:

1) To provide children and their parents with a number of concrete coping techniques to manage anxiety and fears

2) Educate parents about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in children

3) Provide parenting ideas to encourage more self-reliance in children; and

4) Help children learn about themselves and each other in a positive light.  Creating Calm presents the information in child-friendly, fun, and positive ways. 

The group also provides information to parents about childhood anxiety, how to increase bravery and build confidence in children, implement new parenting strategies as needed, and support their children more effectively.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety (fears, apprehension, worry, nervousness) is a normal emotion that is necessary for survival.  All children go through stages of anxiousness at certain ages and stages of development, such as the fear of the dark, or starting a new school or program.  

Anxiety becomes a problem when children do not grow out of these stages of fear and it becomes excessive and extreme.  

Problem anxiety interferes with a child’s ability to engage in age-appropriate activities, socialize, learn, and develop self-confidence. Anxious feelings are usually accompanied by physical sensations such as a churning stomach, headaches, light-headedness, trembling, numbness, and/or a racing heart. Behaviours may include seeking constant reassurance, frequent crying or tantrums, avoidance such as refusing to do things or go places, and difficulties with going to sleep. 

Anxious thoughts present as negative thinking patterns such as perfectionism, imagining the worst possible outcomes, or believing that he or she is unable to cope with normal life challenges.      

Although the experience of anxiety will vary from child to child, feeling excessively stressed, worried, overwhelmed and/or fearful is common.  Fortunately, children and youth can learn methods to manage their anxiety.  Family support plays a key role. 

Attached is an Anxiety workbook for children called: Might Moe

For more information contact Jo Burrows

Funded by Child and Youth M.H. MCFD and private donations.