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If the individual is reporting anxiety symptoms that are interfering with daily functioning 

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If the individual is requesting assistance in managing anxiety symptoms 

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If the individual’s score on the Anxiety subscale of the DASS-21 is 4 or above (using the 0-1-2-3 rating for questions) 

Quick tips

Provide psychoeducation about the nature of anxiety in the aftermath of disaster

Implement thought monitoring to increase awareness of the experience of anxiety, and in particular worry and rumination

Provide behavioural interventions: control short-term hyperarousal via breathing retraining, here-and-now calming strategies, as well as the regular scheduling of progressive muscular relaxation and other relaxing activities for longer-term regulation of the autonomic nervous system

Consider cognitive interventions: reducing worry and rumination with the use of cognitive techniques

Do you know how to

  • Administer the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and interpret scores?
  • Provide psychoeducation about the relationship between the experience of disaster and anxiety?
  • Provide psychoeducation on the fight-flight system?
  • Provide psychoeducation about the link between over-breathing and anxiety symptoms?
  • Implement simple interventions for breathing retraining and relaxation activities?
  • Provide psychoeducation about worry and rumination?
  • Implement brief interventions to assist with the management of unproductive worry?

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