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Franklin County elementary school hosts virtual talk on anxiety

Posted at 11:28 PM, Apr 22, 2021

(LEX 18) — While millions of children across the country continue to contend with the difficulties of virtual learning and isolation due to the pandemic, parents in Franklin County turned to Zoom Thursday night for help.

Bridgeport Elementary School hosted an online session focused on anxiety in children and teens. An assessment clinician from University of Louisville Health Peace Hospital was charged with leading the session.

The clinician, Molly Halpin, walked parents through the signs and symptoms of anxiety. She explained that different types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder, can often manifest themselves in children in many ways, including agitation, restlessness, inattention, and avoidance.

"Avoidance fosters anxiety," she explained. "The more you avoid [the anxiety], the worse it's going to get."

She also offered coping mechanisms and anxiety management strategies, like mindfulness and relaxation.

"I would encourage you to be in the trenches with your child or with your student," she said. "And say, 'Look, you pick your two [strategies] this week and I'll pick my two and let's come together on Friday and let's talk about how it went, and if we need to change it we'll try again.'"