Lexington County School District One school counselors Crissy Roddy and Anna Duvall recently published a resource book titled, Managing Student Anxiety in School Settings.
The book delves into how anxiety impacts students’ emotional and academic well-being. A heavy focus in the book is placed on creating a tangible set of strategies that students can place in an “anxiety survival toolkit,” which can be used at school or outside the classroom.
Students figure out which anxiety-relieving techniques work best for them, such as breathing methods, journaling, cognitive distraction, yoga, meditation and positive self-talk. Then students write those techniques in their toolkit.
“Anxiety is far-reaching and, in fact, is the most common psychiatric disorder among children,” Duvall said. “To think that our work could help children not only in our school district, but also on a larger scale, is pretty awesome.”
Roddy is the school counselor at White Knoll High School and has worked in the field for 18 years. Duvall has 27 years of school counseling under her belt and is currently at Lexington High School.
The two said after speaking at a national conference about student anxiety and how to manage it as a school counselor, a textbook company reached out to them asking if they would co-write a book about handling student anxiety.
"We did not set out to write this book because we wanted to, but a textbook company reached out to us after the convention," Duvall said. "It was such an honor to be chosen to do that."
Roddy shared that the journey of writing the book ended up becoming very personal to them. "We really felt strongly in our own practice as school counselors in the increase of anxiety in students," Roddy said. "The more we presented on it, the more passionate we became. It was a labor of love, and we’re both so proud of it."
Duvall and Roddy said the book took about five months to put together. They both agreed that the most challenging part of the process was gathering data through research. "We are practitioners, so we used this every day with students so we can talk all about what we do, but getting the statistics and research was hard," Duvall said. "Data just speaks to some people and we had to have it in there," Roddy added.
Both counselors said the book is designed to help other counselors handle the scenarios they are in when helping a student. Roddy mentioned the book was practically written to be understandable. "It’s very clearly written," Roddy said. "We tried to write it in a practical way, people need to know practicality and tangible things they can do, and we really hope that’s what we can do."
Duvall and Roddy hope their book will be a valuable resource to other counselors, practitioners and students throughout the state and even the nation. It is available for purchase on Amazon.