Parent Seminar – Nurse Debbie Rennie - ‘Anxiety, Self-Harm & Eating Disorders’


14 June 2018

For the final Parent Seminar of the year, our School Nurse, Debbie Rennie, spoke to parents about anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.

Debbie’s talk focussed on the issues some of our children are dealing with on a daily basis, and with eating disorders becoming much more common and affecting children from as young as the age of eight, these issues are things we need to be talking about.

With many students feeling anxious and worried, some during more stressful times, such as when taking exams, or for those who experience anxiety on some level on a daily basis, it’s important that we know what our children are going through and this was something Debbie was keen to express during her talk, “awareness leads to understanding and empathy, banishing judgement and fear”.


One in six young people experience anxiety during their adolescence and it’s essential we know how to deal with it so that we can help pass on long-term, positive coping mechanisms to our children, for managing emotions. Debbie spoke about the different types of anxiety and the signs and symptoms, knowing what to look out for and whether it’s an emotional, behavioural or physical symptom, ensuring that we are not ignoring any signs, whilst not being too quick to label. A key point that came across during the talk was that it's crucial that we let our children know it’s okay to feel anxious and worried, it’s a normal emotion that will eventually pass.

Debbie ended her talk by highlighting some key tips and ideas to consider, that may help someone with anxiety:

  • Understand anxiety
  • Challenge Unhelpful thoughts
  • Build self-esteem
  • Allow worry time and distractions
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and medications
  • Helping with problem-solving skills
  • Relaxation and meditation

Thank you to all of our speakers from this year’s Parent Seminar Programme, we’ve been able to listen to some fascinating and insightful talks from experts in their field and we hope you have learned some helpful advice, for your children and for yourself.