6 December 2021

Anxiety and worry toolkit for the children’s hospital

We all feel anxious at times and it is a normal response to stressful events and situations, such as being in hospital. Sometimes anxiety can be overwhelming and if not managed correctly, it can be very harmful.

Joyce Stebbings, youth and play services manager at Southampton Children’s Hospital comments: “One of the pieces of equipment that Southampton Hospitals Charity has helped us to purchase is an anxiety and worry toolkit.”

This allows us to help children with autism or very young children who could be shy, nervous, worried or anxious deal with coming into hospital. The toolkit is something simple and visual to help give the child a voice if they feel they cannot speak at that specific time.

The children’s hospital is always busy, and with everything going on around the wards or clinics, it can be really difficult for children, especially those with autism.

We have cards to help them display how they feel, how they are behaving, what do they need, cards to help them tell us what they are anxious about, and how we can help them manage their anxiety.

There is also an anxiety buddy booklet designed for anxiety in older children. This helps them to self-manage their worry and anxiety through a flowchart, and learn how to manage their wellbeing.

Another thing in the toolkit is the ‘stay safe time out’ card. At the hospital we are always looking at body language to find out when that is needed so that they can relax and process everything. Sometimes there is so much going on and a lot is being said to them, and they just cannot cope at that specific time.

We give them their space, and often when we come back later on they are calmer, and we can do what we were trying to do in the first place in terms of treatment.

Without Charity support, we couldn’t provide this for our patients, so thank you.”

Last updated: 6/12/2021

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