1

Anxiety Awareness — Be a Sister Patch Program®

MakingFriends Patch Program®

This 2″ iron-on embroidered patch is part of our patch program®.

Girl Scout anxiety awareness patch

 

 

Anxiety is common mental health problem for children and adults, It is believed that 20% of children and teens are affected by anxiety. Anxious children may be quiet and well behaved and frequently go unnoticed by their parents, teachers, and coaches. Others can be disruptive and act out, often labeled as being a “bad” kid. Either way, the child will probably not receive the help they need.

There are many causes of anxiety. Often, anxiety runs in families and kids are born with anxiety. Sometimes it starts because of a traumatic event.

Author, Jamie Lago, has suffered from anxiety her entire life. She was bullied in school and had trouble making friends. Even within her Girl Scout troop, Jamie often felt anxious and excluded by the other girls.

As a high school assignment , Jamie wrote a fairytale about a girl named Willow who had anxiety and didn’t talk. Her only friends were fairies who danced with her.

Jamie’s published her book, Willow’s Words, to help other kids with anxiety and to help others become more aware people who have it.

 

Suggestions for how younger girls can earn the Anxiety Awareness Patch:

  1. Everyone experiences anxiety at one time or another.
    Watch this video to find out what anxiety is and how it feels.

2. We all experience anxiety sometimes.

  • Think of a time when you felt anxious.
  • How did it feel?
  • Do you think your life would be different if you had that feeling most of the time?

3. For some kids anxiety makes their life really hard.
They have trouble in school, trouble with friendships and may feel bad about themselves. Sometimes kids with anxiety are bullied because they are “different.” Read Willow’s Words, or another book about anxiety. Answer these questions about the character with anxiety:

  • How is Willow treated by the kids at school?
  • How does Willow communicate?
  • Even though Willow doesn’t talk, there are many things she is good at. What are some things she is good at?
  • What would you do if you someone in your class or troop had anxiety?

 

Suggestions for how older girls can earn the Anxiety Awareness Patch:

  1. Did you know normal anxiety is helpful?
    It’s our body’s response to danger. Feelings of anxiety will make you want to fight, flee or freeze. Take a look at each of these anxiety-causing situations. How would you feel? Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • You are about to step off the curb and a car suddenly comes speeding around the corner. It scares you. Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • Your team is in the playoffs. The game is about to start and you’re feeling anxious. Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • You’re out hiking and think you hear something up ahead on the trail. You are not sure if it is an animal. Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • You’re walking home and a car pulls over. The driver starts talking to you. You don’t know the person. Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • You will be giving an oral report at school. Just the thought of it makes you anxious. Would you fight, flee or freeze?
  • You’re at the mall. A man approaches you asks if have ever done any modeling. Something doesn’t feel right about him. Would you fight, flee or freeze?

Think about your responses. Do you notice that normal anxiety helps to protect you?

2. Sometimes feelings of anxiety are so strong it may cause you to overreact.
Take a look at these situations:

  • Your bestfriend has been hanging out with a new friend. It makes you anxious that you might loose her friendship. You confront your friend and yell at her for avoiding you. What would have been a better way to handle it?
  • You have a big test at school. You’re afraid you might fail. You convince you parents that you are sick and can’t go to school that day. What would have been a better way to handle it?
  • You’re waking home after dark. You think you hear footsteps behind you. You’re so scared you freeze. What would have been a better way to handle it?

3. Some people have severe anxiety that causes them to overreact to most situations.

  • Someone might act out or become a bully if constant anxiety causes them to overreact to the fight response.
  • Someone who is overly anxious about dogs might overreact and run away from them all the time.
  • Someone who is anxious about social situations my overreact and freeze up rather than participate. Take a look at the video on this page.  Do you know anyone like this? What could you do to help?