Carina McEvoy is passionate about mental health, children’s in particular. Currently self-publishing a book entitled, ‘Sometimes I worry, how about you?’ – a book to help children manage anxiety, she is also set to deliver night classes in Understanding and Managing Childhood Anxiety in Gorey Community School.
“The night class is to help adults – parents or guardians – to help their children manage their low-level anxiety in the home,” says Carina, a former business and geography teacher who’s looking forward to getting back into the classroom.
Carina will deliver two classes: An Introduction to Understanding Children’s Anxiety explores a child’s development in relation to personality and transitional milestones also. And An Advanced Course to Understanding and Managing Children’s Anxiety includes 17 simple strategies to manage anxiety levels.
Carina firmly believes that childhood anxiety is an epidemic but also believes that empowered and aware parents and guardians can make a huge difference. That’s why her children’s book on managing anxiety – featuring Mo! – also has a support booklet for parents to read alongside the children’s book.
Carina knows what she’s talking about when it comes to anxiety – as a teenager, she went through a maelstrom of depression, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety.
“When I was a teen, I suffered badly with mental health issues – the internet had just started, and we had none at home. I had no one to talk to, no stories of other people to read. So, I thought I was alone – and going crazy.”
College brought access to the internet where research on self-harm made her realise just how common it was – “I got great relief from knowing that I wasn’t the only one. That knowledge was healing for me.”
Writing therapeutic As a teen, she took up writing to express her emotions and now has a published novel, To Have, Not Hold, to her credit!
“I found writing therapeutic – I wrote poetry and enjoyed getting lost in trying to find words to express my feelings.”
Now, she is keen, through her night classes and her new books, to make parents aware that low-level children’s anxiety can be managed. “Children can have a lot of general anxiety, with no specific cause or anxiety behind it. Between being so busy going from one thing to another – and being constantly stimulated by social media – they have no time to get bored or to manage boredom. That sense of being ‘on’ all the time and getting everything ‘now’ doesn’t help.”
Her hope is that her night classes in Gorey Community School will help.