Alex's Answer

Struggling to go to school

Your Question

I am struggling to go to school and when I do I get awful anxiety and have to leave. What can I do to stop this? School counsellor is no help


Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex!

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that experiencing anxiety related to attending school is a common issue that many individuals face. It’s positive that you have recognised this challenge and are seeking ways to address it. The fact that you are reaching out for help indicates your willingness to work through this difficulty.  

Let’s explore Triggers and Patterns: start by identifying triggers or situations that lead to your anxiety when going to school.  Is it related to social interactions, academic pressures, performance, expectations, or something else? Understanding the root cause of your anxiety can help in developing targeted strategies to manage it effectively.   

Some coping strategies you can try are:  

  1. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques: practice deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation techniques to calm your mind and body when you feel anxious.  These techniques can reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.  

  1. Mindfulness and grounding techniques; engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or grounding exercises to stay present in the moment and alleviate anxious thoughts about going to school. 

  1. Positive self-talk; challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths, capabilities and past successes to boost your confidence in coping with school anxiety.  

Remember that overcoming anxiety is a gradual process, and its okay to seek help along the way. Visit | The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, for more supports.

You can also look at the free Space from Anxiety programme run by ISPCC. It is an 8-week online programme for 13 – 18 year olds. There is a free programme for parents of teens experiencing anxiety too. You can find more information here

If you would like to chat some more about your experience, you can call our Childline free phone service at 1800 66 66 66 or chat with us through our webchat service, by clicking on the purple Messenger circle at We offer 24-hour non-judgmental, confidential, anonymous support for young people 18 years and under.

Be patient with yourself and celebrate all victories as you work towards overcoming your anxiety, and remember you are not alone on this journey! 

Take care of yourself,  


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