Pupil Wellbeing support for feelings of anxiety and low mood


Additional emotional and mental health conditions can affect autistic young people. This page outlines how we can help in school and also gives information about external links. Pupils, parents and staff can read it together.

“Although autism itself is not a mental health condition, many autistic people such as myself also suffer from mental health conditions. Ambitious About Autism recently found that 4 out of 5 young people with autism have experienced mental health issues, a figure which is extremely high but which unfortunately doesn’t surprise me” Rose (www.youngminds.org.uk Aug 2017)

Sometimes you can experience strong emotions and need support.

anxiety     depression     Mindfulness5  

Click on the links to find out more. 

take the quiz




How we can help in school:
Pupils, parents or staff can ask Joanne and Priya in the Psychology department in school to set up some 1:1 sessions. We will arrange a place and time that is good for you. Typically these will be around 6-8 weeks. We will make personalised sessions for you and resources you can use after the sessions.

 Rate on our Emotional wellbeing quiz

Question  Never 0  Sometimes 1   Often 2  Always 3 
 1. I worry about things        
 2. I feel sad or empty        
 3. I am happy to be me        
 4. I worry bad things will happen to me        
 5. I do things well        
 6. When I have a problem, I get a funny feeling in my stomach        
 7. I find ways to relax        
 8. Nothing is much fun anymore        
 9. I have thoughts about hurting myself        
 10. If I have a problem I will ask staff or my family for help.        

Full RCADS questionnaire




Anxiety is normal. Everyone experiences anxiety at times. For example when you go to somewhere unfamiliar and new, or maybe take an exam.

Anxiety is not dangerous. Though anxiety may feel uncomfortable it doesn’t usually last long, coming and going with your thoughts and feelings.

Anxiety is adaptive. Anxiety is a normal bodily reaction to help us prepare for feelings of danger.

flight or fight 

The stress response will be affected by different situations and may result in different types of anxiety. These may be general, where you worry about everything; worry when you are in social situations; a phobia around something specific; a reaction to a stressful event with flashbacks or repetitive thoughts and compulsions around particular things.


What we think and feel affects how we act.


What we think 


The Facts!

Myth: Talking about anxiety will make you more anxious.

Fact: Learning about anxiety will help you understand what is happening to your body, how you feel and ways you can learn to manage difficult situations.


1. Talk to someone you trust about how you feel
2. Keep a weekly journal
3. Rate how you feel on a scale daily
4. Use a 5 point scale to show where you are and what you need
5. Think about a time when you managed this situation before
6. Keep a list of things you like to do and work through these such as running or trampoline
7. Draw pictures of how you feel
8. Congratulate yourself for slowly trying new things you find difficult
9. Set goals with parents and staff
10. Try and get enough sleep – see mindfulness



We all have times when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass in due course.

But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're experiencing depression

take the quiz


The Facts!

Myth: Talking about low mood will make you more depressed

Fact: Learning about depression will help you understand how you are reacting to difficult situations and find ways to manage


Support in school would involve talking to staff using cognitive behaviour therapy approaches. Some young people may need medication to support how they feel. If you have been given medication you may want to read https://www.headmeds.org.uk/

If you have any thoughts of harming yourself, it is very important that you tell staff and parents straight away.

HOPELINE 0800 068 41 41 Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org Text: 07786 209697 

Stay alive app

The Stay Alive app is very good.



Mindfulness is simply… noticing what is happening right now. Mindfulness is taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, smell and taste. Maybe you even feel emotions in your body, perhaps through a tightness somewhere, or a good sensation. Mindfulness is also noticing what your mind is doing.

What happens when you start noticing these experiences? When you notice what is happening around you, you focus more deeply, and that attention to your own senses will help you manage other areas of life.

When you notice what is happening around you, it can help you to calm down when you’re sad, angry or frustrated. Mindfulness helps you deal with tough emotions, and mindfulness can make you happy and feel good.

Everyday Mindfulness exercises to help support if you are feeling anxious or low

stones  Draw a picture of your favourite place, notice the shapes, sizes, objects, colours 
 river  Go for a walk – notice three things you can see, two things you can hear, one thing that you can smell
 spiral  Pick up a flower or plant – notice the small details, count the leaves
 walk  Sit in the park – close your eyes, notice how you are breathing. Count in for 3 and out for 4. Try this 5 times
Complete a craft with very small detail such as pointed patterns on stones. Try to make patterns which flow
 flower  Take your pen on a ‘walk’ by drawing any flowing picture you think of
 origarmi  Try some origami paper folding. Notice how the paper feels and folds
 body scan

To help sleep – tense and relax your feet, your legs, your hips, stomach, chest, left arm, right arm neck and head

Click for music

 eating  Pick your favourite foods and notice how they look, smell, taste. Take time to chew these


Really helpful extra links for you or your family









Some resources we like!

BECK Youth or the RCADS questionnaires to do at the start and the end to check how you are feeling.
Exploring Anxiety Feelings, Attwood, 2004
FRIENDS for life, Barrett, 2004.
Think Good Feel Good, Stallard, 2002
Incredible 5 point Scale, Curtis 2012

If you have any you really like let us know and we can add these!