Young people share tips for coping with anger

King’s College London

King’s College London have worked alongside children and young people to create a short film that helps them to process feelings of anger that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child yelling Jason Rosewell

A group of leading mental health clinicians and researchers from the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London have worked alongside children and young people to create a short film that helps them to process feelings of anger that have been brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video is the third in the KeepCool series that has been designed to help young people aged 14-24 to deal with the various negative emotions that the pandemic has exacerbated in the last 18 months. The film has had input from a range of groups, including members of the McPin Foundation’s Young People’s Network, as well as leading creative production and social media companies.

Anger is a normal reaction to many situations that young people can find themselves in and can be the result of other underlying emotions like fear, worry, or sadness – all emotions that many young people have been feeling more acutely since the start of the pandemic. Without the right help, these feelings can become overwhelming and have a lasting impact on self-confidence and relationships.

“The last 18 months have been an extremely stressful period for a lot of young people, and anger is a normal expression of those underlying feelings. Children and adolescents have been frustrated by the restriction to their activities, the forced social isolation, and the disruption in education – just to name a few.”– Professor Andrea Danese, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s IoPPN

Professor Andrea Danese, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s IoPPN said “The problem is that anger can lead to behavioural problems, which have increased during the lockdown and are one of the main reasons why parents have called helplines. Similarly anger turned inwards can lead to self-harm, which has also increased. We hope that this video and the related psycho-educational content can help young people build new skills to cope with their anger and manage it in more adaptive ways.”

The KeepCool films explore how young people experience strong emotions and provide tips on how to manage and overcome them, empowering young people to take action to improve their mental health and, at the same time, helping to address the stigma.

Professor Danese said, “All of these films have been designed to help adolescents approach difficult emotions in the most pragmatic and healthy way possible, so that they don’t feel overwhelmed”

The IoPPN has worked with SLaM, the McPin Foundation, the production company TOAD and social media experts Passion Digital. Young people co-produced the material through workshops and active engagement in content production and promoting the films.

Ashlea, a McPin Young People’s network member, said, “Working on the KeepCool Project has been a really wonderful experience. The team at McPin have facilitated an open and comfortable space which allowed me to be honest in sharing my mental health experiences. Our personal experiences have been used to directly shape the project and film.”

Dr Dan Robotham, Deputy Research Director at McPin said, “The KeepCool project has been a great opportunity to collaborate with young people to develop the video series. We have had many discussions with the young people, content designers, clinicians and academics to strengthen the format and messaging as much as possible. I hope the videos will be helpful to young people out there who are struggling with new, or more intense, feelings and emotions during the pandemic, and beyond.”

King’s IoPPN, in partnership with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Maudsley Charity, are in the process of opening a world leading centre for children and young people mental health. The Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People is expected to open in 2023 and will bring together researchers and clinicians to help find solutions that will transform the landscape for children’s mental health.

The project is funded by the government’s Strategic Priorities Fund and the UK Research and Innovation. It’s delivered by the Medical Research Council with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.