Waimakariri MP welcomes resource to tackle children’s anxieties

Waimakariri news
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pictured: Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey has a look at the ‘Wishes and Worries’ Worry Bug Project resource with creators Julie Burgess-Manning (left) and Sarina Dickson.

A unique resource to help families work through their children’s anxieties has been welcomed by Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey.

Doocey attended the Worry Bug Project launch at St Albans School on Monday of the two-part resource that will be going out free to schools and Year 1 to 4 children in Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, and Christchurch city.

The Waimakariri MP, who has a background in mental health, said young children often couldn’t describe their worries in language that adults could understand and presented these anxieties through behaviour such as being clingy or lashing out at siblings and others.

“I know from conversations that I am having with schools in my electorate that some of our children are suffering from anxiety issues that are linked to the earthquake events.   We know post-recovery that years three to five are the most significant psychologically and socially in any recovery process. Families have been through tough times and some are dealing with knock-on effects such as separation,” Doocey said.

Doocey thanked the Canterbury Community Trust and the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust for providing the funding that made The Worry Bug Project, the brainchild of Christchurch psychologist Julie Burgess-Manning and teacher Sarina Dickson,a reality. The resource consists of two books: one for use at school and another for use at home.

“Both books come with exercises based on Narrative and Cognitive Behavioural therapy principles to help start conversations around worries,” Doocey said.