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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting help for my child with anxiety

Whai āwhina mō taku tamaiti mānawanawa

Getting help with anxietyThere are lots of things you can do to get help for an anxious tamaiti (child).

Talk to your GP or practice nurse first. If necessary, your GP can refer your tamaiti for more specialised assessment and treatment.

Talking therapy

To help a tamaiti struggling with anxiety, it's always necessary to look at the whole whānau (family) situation. If a parent is anxious, stressed or unhappy, it's very likely that their tamaiti will have difficult emotions to manage. Getting help for the parent's problem will also help the anxiety of the tamaiti.

Support will focus on:

If the anxiety your tamaiti has doesn't respond to other measures you may need a referral to Canterbury DHB Child, Adolescent and Family Community Mental Health Services.

You could also arrange to see a private psychologist or psychiatrist (mental health doctor).

Your GP can help you find a therapist or refer you for some free counselling. You can find a counsellor, therapist or psychiatrist in the Family Services Directory. The Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC) can also help. Some therapy options will cost but your GP can talk through the approximate cost with you.

Social support

The following organisations can provide counselling for tamariki (children) or whānau members, group courses to help tamariki or parents better understand the emotions of the tamaiti, and one-to-one parenting support.

If you need help finding the right service, contact Right Service Right Time. A service coordinator can help you find the most appropriate and available services. Phone (03) 378-2782 or 027-654-7788, email info@rightservice.org.nz or visit the Right Service Right Time website.

School support

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2021.

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Review key: HIAXC-538744