Anxiety in Indigenous Youth

Anderson Therapy Services has been collaborating and working with Indigenous/First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Northern Canada, Ontario and Quebec.

Anxiety is a common feeling from time to time in response to nerve wracking situations, such as public speaking, or studying for a test. When anxiety is hindering you from accomplishing tasks consistently within your daily life, you or a loved one could be experiencing an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is an umbrella term for differing conditions such as:

  • panic disorder
  • social anxiety disorder
  • specific phobias
  • separation anxiety disorder
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • generalized anxiety disorder

Although there are many anxiety conditions, the symptoms experienced are similar across the spectrum. Some common symptoms of anxiety are:

  • excessive worrying & irrational fears
  • avoiding social situations
  • panic attacks
  • troubled sleeping patterns
  • tension and irritability
  • restlessness and increased agitation

Anxiety disorders are treatable, and with the correct supports, can be managed. Art therapy is a positive outlet for exploring the role of anxiety in one’s life in order to develop coping skills and holistic adaptations. Art therapy is beneficial for anxiety specifically because it allows space to process difficult emotions through non-verbal means, allowing one to build the necessary confidence to confront their experiences with anxiety. This allows for the safe processing of thinking patterns and behaviours that can be worsening an individual’s experience with anxiety.

Depression in Indigenous Youth

Depression comes in many forms, and does not present itself in the same way with every individual. Feeling down or low from time to time is a normal response to life’s struggles, but when emotions such as hopelessness become inescapable, you or your loved one could have depression.

Depression can present itself in many ways, such as:

  • feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • increased anxiety
  • loss of energy
  • anger or irritability
  • sleeping more or less
  • appetite or weight changes
  • loss of interest in daily activities
  • reduced concentration
  • reckless behaviour
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Depression takes hold of one’s ability to function in daily life, impacting one’s capacity to participate in school, work, social circumstances, family lives, and areas of enjoyment. Depression in children and adolescents often presents itself as:

  • loss of interest in school and poor academic performance
  • change in social activities
  • change in appearance
  • acting out or angry behaviour
  • experimentation with drugs or alcohol

Although depression is a serious illness, it is treatable. Art therapy provides a confidential setting to unpack and explore underlying causes of depression. Through the safe processing of thoughts and feelings, attainable holistic goals, and skills building, depressive symptoms can be lessened. An Individual along with their surrounding support system can be at the forefront of their care process.

Our therapy services for Indigenous/First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities can be accessed in remote areas using our confidential online videoconferencing technology as well as on-site visits. Our unique service delivery model, in partnership with communities, has helped many First Nations children and youth receive mental health services that they may not have otherwise received.

Are Difficulties Holding You Back?
Let us know how we can help.

The clinicians at Anderson Therapy Services will try their best to work with your schedule and offer you therapy services at your convenience. To learn more about our services, contact us at (289) 238-8598 or at

We provide therapy services at our Dundas and Burlington locations to children, adults and seniors across the Greater Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, and communities in Northern Ontario and Quebec.

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