Anxiety disorders are among the most common emotional difficulties experienced by children and young people. They cause significant disturbance to the lives of young people and their families and present a risk for lifelong psychological disturbance. Effective psychological (ie, cognitive–behaviour therapy (CBT)) and pharmacological interventions (eg, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)) have been established. However, the risk of adverse effects and unknown long-term effects of using SSRIs has led to recommendations that CBT is delivered as a first-line intervention. Recent innovations have included the development of low-intensity CBT programmes, delivered briefly via parents or online. These hold promise to increase access to psychological therapies for children and young people with these common and severe difficulties.
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