Understanding anxiety in children

October 30, 2023
Black Dog Institute Mental Health

Anxiety is a common mental health concern in children (aged between 8-12 years old), with 7% of Australian children receiving a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder each year. [1]

Anxiety is a leading cause of total disease burden [2] and when left untreated, can lead to long-lasting emotional, social, and financial costs to children, their families, and society. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Although it is important to access support to manage anxiety, only 1 in 5 children with anxiety disorders access effective treatments. [7]

Many families experience challenges when attempting to connect with support services and wait times to see a psychologist in Australia can range between 6 to 12 months.

Signs and symptoms of anxiety in children

Anxiety is a spectrum that runs from general worry to severe and debilitating symptoms. Occasional anxiety does not interfere with everyday functioning and can be helpful, for example, by motivating a child to work towards a goal.

Read more: Understanding anxiety in children