As many as 1 in 6 young people struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, and the numbers are growing. According to Childline, which is supported by the NSPCC children’s charity, there has been a sharp rise in the number of young people seeking help because of anxiety as they struggle to cope with the demands of modern life.
#WhatIf? is a new resource to help young people develop a greater understanding of the inevitable worries they will experience in their own lives. By contextualising anxiety, young people are empowered to find practical coping strategies, leaving them better prepared to take control of their emotions and challenges they face.
Developed with the help of teachers, youth workers and young people, #WhatIf? is a series of four games designed to build young people's understanding about their own anxious thoughts and feelings and create the setting for important discussions. Conversation is facilitated with light-hearted question and answer cards which open up the floor for deeper reflection, and a ‘know’, ‘play’, ‘explore’ game structure allows greater understanding of how we can identify feelings and cope with the physical symptoms and thought processes anxiety brings.
Everybody experiences anxiety in their lives. But some anxiety can be crippling and debilitating. #WhatIf? is a valuable resource for young people to address their own experiences of anxiety early on. It has been designed for use in churches, in schools, with your own children or in any pastoral setting with 11-15 year olds.
An interactive game to help young people to identify and cope with their own anxious thoughts and feelings in practical ways.
Activity Resources, Games
"#WhatIf? is really simple to use and facilitates deeper conversations as you work with a group. It creates an easy journey for young people to navigate anxiety and anxious thoughts. The mentoring group I used it with in school really engaged with it."
Faith Argeroplos Schools Worker, Luton
"As 6/7 of my youth group face their GCSE’s and A levels, at tonight’s session we will be having a look at #WhatIf? - this great resource by Youthscape. Really want to do everything I can to support my young people through it."
Hannah Redeyoff Youth Worker, Doncaster
"Really great resource. Lives in my schools work bag and gets loads of use."
Ben Cordy East Leads Schools Development Worker, Leeds Faith in Schools
Let's delve inside
A fun and engaging way to start the conversation about anxiety. Young people match cards to create crazy scenarios that might make them anxious - picking up the theme 'what's the worst that could happen?' It helps explore the idea that anxiety often fixates on the worst case scenario.
Anxiety affects the body as well as the mind. Your heart might begin to race, your stomach could begin to churn or you might even feel sick. This game asks the players to think about their mental and physical reactions to different scenarios and begin to recognise the signs of anxiety.
Young people explore their levels of anxiety about different everyday experiences at home, at school and online. Each will have different situations that make them really anxious. By scaling them they can begin to recognise the danger areas for them and think about how to respond.
The final game helps young people think about what strategies help them counter panic attacks and anxiety. Grouped into five different approaches, they explore each carefully and decide what works - and what doesn't - for them. It gives them a clear idea of what to do the next time they feel anxious.
Take a look
An interactive game to help young people to identify and cope with their own anxious thoughts and feelings in practical ways. Young people are empowered to find practical coping strategies, leaving them better prepared to take control of their emotions.
Suitable for: 11-15 year olds
What's in the box?
- Game 1, a scenario-based card game
- Game 2, a way of learning to recognise the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety
- Game 3, introducing ways of understanding how bad anxiety is
- Game 4, offering strategies for coping with anxious thoughts and feelings
- A detailed instruction leaflet for using the resource