Welcome to Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach. Here you will find tools for children and families struggling with anxiety and related mental health issues. Here you will find programs for anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, behavior problems, and adjusting to situational stress.

Our programs are designed to quickly teach kids and parents evidence-based behavior therapy techniques to improve mental health issues. The goals of each program are to:

  • Help kids and parent understand how people get stuck in emotional and behavioral problems
  • Learn the behavioral therapy techniques most likely to help kids feel and act better
  • Guide families to build a detailed and personalized plan to apply the behavioral techniques to their life
  • Provide resources for finding more help and assistance if needed

There are different ways that families can use our programs.

  • For some families, learning about behavioral therapy techniques and making a plan may be all they need to improve their concerns
  • Other families might find that they need support from a therapist to get the most out of the techniques they learn through our programs
  • Families can also use the programs to learn about the most effective therapy so they can feel knowledgeable when looking for a therapist

Choose the program that best fits your needs:

Anxiety Coach: Anxiety coach is a program for children and adolescent with anxiety disorders or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). When children have anxiety disorders they are very afraid, nervous, or worried about typical daily experiences that would not bother most children their age. For some kids with OCD, rather than feeling nervous or worried, they feel “grossed-out” by things or feel the need to make things “just-right.” In both cases, children feel anxious or upset, even when there is nothing happening around them that would be very frightening or bothersome to most other kids. Treatment for anxiety disorders and OCD involves helping kids learn through facing their fears in a series of experiments that they were more nervous than they really needed to be. The children begin to feel better as they learn that their fears or worries are unlikely to come true. (What is the difference between anxiety disorder and adjusting to stress?)

Family Stress Resource Center: The Family Stress Resource Center is designed for kids, teens, and families who are experiencing changes, loss, or other sources of stress. Change is often hard, and people can feel upset when their normal routines and expectations are disrupted. Treatment for situational stress involves helping children use strategies to cope with emotional distress until the stressful situation improves or they adjust to the situation. Children feel better by having strategies to solve problems that can be solved and having support to handle situations that cannot be fixed. (What is the difference between anxiety disorder and adjusting to stress?)

Cooperation Coach: Cooperation Coach is a program for parents who are frustrated with their child or children arguing, yelling, having tantrums, or refusing to do what is asked can benefit from this program. These children may have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Other children may be having trouble cooperating with treatment for anxiety or other issues, or may simply be going through a phase of increased arguing and refusing to do what parents ask of them. Treatment for arguing and anger outbursts involves helping parents be much more consistent and thoughtful in their use of firm expectation, rewards and consequences.

Anxiety and related mental health issues can be challenging, including choosing the right treatment. If you ever feel like you need help, contact your doctor, therapist, counselor, or the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology to schedule an appointment.