January 30, 2018
British children are more anxious about Donald Trump’s U.S. presidency than about the threat of nuclear war, based on findings of a survey released on January 23 by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) of Britain
One-third of children between the ages of five and 18 are experiencing “widespread anxiety” about Trump and terrorism, according to the study, conducted on behalf of MHF by YouGov and published by the International Business Times.
About 1,9 00 U.K. parents were asked to identify what they thought their sons or daughters, between the ages of five and 18, were anxious about. Forty-one percent said that terrorism was their child’s biggest concern, with 33% saying that Donald Trump and his administration also made their children feel very anxious.
Indeed, terrorism and Trump were ranked as more anxiety-inducing than global warming and the threat of nuclear war. About one-third of parents (32%) said their sons and daughters were worried about climate change, while 23% said the possibility of nuclear war worried them.
Thirteen percent of parents said their children were so worried about a terrorist attacks that they had started avoiding public transport or going to busy places. Eight percent said their children were having nightmares about global events.
In response to the survey’s findings, Dr Camilla Rosan of the Mental Health Foundation said: “We often forget that distressing world events can have a significant impact on the mental health of our children. This is especially true in the digital age, [when] … it’s no longer possible to shield our children from worrying or scary news.”
She suggested that parents not only provide their children with the relevant facts about a terrorist attack, but also put things in perspective and reassure them that they are safe.
“Anxiety about scary news events is normal, but not something children have to deal with alone,” she said. “Parents can really help tackle problems early and support good mental health for their children by talking about these issues in an open and honest way.
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