We are pleased to announce the launch of Anxiety in the Classroom, our brand new online resource focusing on anxiety and OCD in the school setting. Whether you work within the school system, have a student in your family, or are a student yourself read more to learn about how this exciting new content can serve as a valuable tool for you.
About Anxiety in the Classroom
- Approximately 1 in every 200 children in the United States suffers from OCD or a related disorder.
- Over half of adults with OCD report that their symptoms began before age 18.
- The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that around 30% of youth have experienced an anxiety disorder.
- A recently funded IOCDF study has shown that OCD significantly impairs an individual’s ability to take advantage of educational opportunities.
- A recent study showed that OCD has a pervasive and profound impact on education across all educational levels, particularly when it has an early age of onset.(1)
Unfortunately, the professionals who interact with youth the most (such as school personnel and pediatricians) are not trained to recognize anxiety/OCD in children. This means that the average child with a mental health condition will wait years after displaying symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment. The goal of Anxiety in the Classroom is to reduce the negative impact of anxiety/OCD on youth.
Anxiety in the Classroom is an online resource center for school personnel, students, and their families. The website provides general information, resources, and materials about anxiety and OCD as they relate to the school setting, as well as more specific tools for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel who may work with students with anxiety or OCD. Parents and students will also find tools and information to help them advocate for school accommodations, as well as to educate their teachers and classmates about OCD and anxiety.
The First Phase of Anxiety in the Classroom
The first phase of Anxiety in the Classroom has been completed, and information and resources are now available to school personnel of all types and at all levels. The goals of these resources are:
- Ensure that school personnel are able to understand and recognize OCD and anxiety, and
- Teach school personnel to facilitate connection to proper treatment, develop 504 plans or IEPs for students, and feel comfortable providing support to students in their school who live with anxiety and/or OCD.
Currently, it takes the average person with OCD 14-17 years after symptom onset to receive an appropriate diagnosis and begin an effective treatment regimen. If we can educate school professionals about the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders and OCD, along with specific suggestions and steps they could take to address the needs of their students, then we may be able to help intervene at an early stage where the disorder might be more easily treated. This could have a tremendous benefit on a student’s school performance and quality of life by reducing the duration and severity of OCD symptoms.
Get Questions About Anxiety in the Classroom!
Anxiety in the Classroom Reddit AMA!
- Tuesday, October 9th at 12pm ET Denise Egan Stack, LMHC, will be answering questions about the IOCDF’s new resource, Anxiety in the Classroom, as well as general questions about recognizing and managing anxiety and OCD in children.
To participate, visit www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/ beginning at 12pm EST Tuesday, 10/9 and click on Denise Egan Stack’s thread.
Building Anxiety in the Classroom
In order to build an effective resource, we first assessed the needs of the community, beginning with school personnel. To gather this information, we developed and distributed a comprehensive “needs assessment” regarding anxiety and OCD as it presents school settings. Based on over 1,000 responses from school personnel across the United States, Anxiety in the Classroom’s content has been tailored to the various disciplines within the school setting, including teachers, administrators, nurses, and behavioral health staff. The program provides accessible and actionable tools for school personnel, and can be used for self-education purposes or to educate ones’ colleagues.
We will repeat this process of surveying the community as we develop future sections of Anxiety in the Classroom, including those focused on parents and students. We are actively seeking feedback from parents and families right now, and plan on surveying students in 2019.
Help Us Continue to Develop Anxiety in the Classroom
Our plan is to have a fully populated Anxiety in the Classroom website by the end of 2019. To do this, we need your help! We are currently seeking feedback from parents and families about their experiences with their child’s anxiety/OCD in the school setting. What we learn from you will translate directly into what we include in the “For Families” section of Anxiety in the Classroom, so please consider taking a couple minutes to take the survey at www.iocdf.org/parentsurvey.