Anxiety among middle school and high school students has been rising rapidly in recent years. In fact, anxiety disorders are now the most common mental illnesses among students, affecting about 25 percent of all teens—and these are just the reported cases. That’s why this week, we sit down with Licensed Professional Counselor, Kayla Lin, along with Sara Shelton and Marquise Cox, to talk about why student anxiety is on the rise and what we can do as youth leaders to walk with and support students struggling with anxiety right now.


  • What today’s statistics say about anxiety among students (1:21)
  • What anxiety is and how it’s different from stress (3:05)
  • What today’s podcast guests have seen among their students in terms of anxiety trends (6:09)
  • What causes student anxiety (8:57)
  • Why saying “Just get over it” diminishes a student’s experience (12:22)
  • The difference between anxiety and depression (15:21)
  • Why anxiety is increasing among students (17:19)
  • The difference between a phase and a pattern with anxiety (19:45)
  • How students cope with anxiety (20:28)
  • How to tell the difference between a phase versus a deep response to anxiety (25:52)
  • What responsibilities leaders have to address student anxiety issues (29:11)
  • What a win looks like when leading students with anxiety (35:12)
  • Resources available for leaders and parents (39:55)


Website: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Website: Georgia Crisis and Access Line

Resource: RYM 011: What To Do When A Student Self-Harms

Resource: RYM 012: Navigating Mental Health And Suicide In Your Ministry

Our student series about anxiety for middle schoolers and high schoolers are only available through our Winter 2019 season of curriculum. Not a subscriber yet? Visit to try our curriculum for FREE!

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