Anxiety in children and young people; what signs should we look out for?


In Australia, the estimate is that 1 in 14 children suffer from anxiety, which can result from a range of factors including difficult or traumatic life experiences. Though as a parent or carer it is not your role to diagnose a mental health issue, there are some signs that you can look out for in case you need to seek further assistance and advice.

In early childhood, some of the signs of an anxious child include;

  • Clingy behaviour or taking a long time to settle down following separation from a family member, and this happening on a regular basis.
  • Frequent severe tantrums – more so than other children of a similar age.
  • Low interest or significant reluctance to interact in social situations, and an unwillingness to get involved in unfamiliar activities.
  • Significant difficulty or distress during change or transitions.

In the primary school years, some symptoms of children experiencing anxiety include;

  • Wanting things to be perfect.
  • Reluctance to ask for help or, conversely, asking too much for reassurance may also be a sign of being overly anxious.
  • Difficulty joining in with class discussion, sports or games.
  • Frequent requests to go to sick bay with stomach aches and headaches.
  • Challenging behaviour – ‘acting out’ when they become overwhelmed by a task or situation.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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