What Do Anxious Teens Need?

We’re in a moment where anxiety is running rampant, spreading like an epidemic among adolescents. The rise of anxiety is burdening schools and counselors, scaring parents, and harming kids, creating dangerous pathways to depression and substance abuse. What can we do? In a series of pieces, we look at how to help teenagers face their fears, build resilience, and grapple with the pressure to achieve — on the road to college and beyond.

student trapped in thorns and then with roses

Resilience for Anxious Students

How school counselors can manage and mitigate anxiety — by focusing on coping strategies and schoolwide supports.

school nurse helping a student with anxiety

When the Nurse's Office is a Refuge

For teens whose anxiety isn’t severe, the school nurse can play a vital, overlooked role in sustaining health and wellness.

boy with anxiety monsters floating around him

A Journalist’s Perspective on Anxiety

Benoit Denizet-Lewis spent more than a year chronicling the lives of anxious teenagers for the New York Times. What he found is, frankly, scary.

mother helping daughter with college applications

Taming the Admissions Anxiety

How to parent through the college process — navigating hopes and expectations (yours and theirs) and the minefield of status and achievement pressure.

pushing a rock up a hill

A Short Primer on Resilience

Teens — like all of us — can bolster their ability to cope with hardship. Here's how resilience works.

A Better Way of Thinking

Mindfulness can help us build positive thinking habits and defeat stress or worry.

Finding Authentic Service Opportunities

Three ways guidance counselors can help:

  • Look for activities that are local, skill-building, and emotionally and ethically engaging.
  • Ensure that students with significant family responsibilities include those contributions on their applications.
  • Remind students that colleges are alert to community service that’s inauthentic or trumped up.

See the full resource >>

words from a college application

College and (the Real) You

What students should know about showcasing authentic community service in college applications.

Coping Skills for Anxious Times

A conversation about how to confront anxiety — not accommodate or avoid it.

 

Usable Knowledge is a trusted source of insight into what works in education — translating new research into easy-to-use stories and strategies for teachers, parents, K-12 leaders, higher ed professionals, and policymakers. Usable Knowledge is produced at the Harvard Graduate School of Education by Bari Walsh (senior editor) and Leah Shafer (staff writer). Contact us at uknow@gse.harvard.edu.