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First annual Action Anxiety Day focuses on awareness, erasing stigma

Feeling anxious?

You’re not alone. 

According to Island Health, global anxiety levels are estimated to be three times higher than usual due to the pandemic.

As we marked the first ever Action Anxiety Day on Thursday, Island Health and Anxiety Canada are bringing awareness to those who are feeling anxiety for the first time, or have struggled with it for years.

Clinical child psychologist, Dr. Daniel Chorney, says the first step in battling anxiety is finding the level of help you need.

“Some individuals might need some significant help, so that’s usually when people are impaired, like having a hard time going to school, hard time going to work, hard time leaving the home,” Chorney said. “That might be when you need a psychologist or someone professionally, but what I like about Anxiety Canada is there are different levels of help that you can access, just through their website.”

Chorney says the first thing to do, whether you’re feeling some worry or fear, or having a full-on panic attack, is taking slow, deep breaths.

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“That’s often the first thing that people will feel with anxiety is a strong, physical sensation,” he explained. “Stomach upset, shortness of breath, sweating, or shaking, so that has to get under control first.”

After that, he says you need to ground yourself in the moment and ask yourself, “Is this something I have dealt with before, and is this something I can get through?”

He added that you should also make sure you aren’t avoiding the things that you are afraid of.

Anxiety Canada CEO, Judith Law, says that until now, there was no day dedicated solely to anxiety.

“So, we took the lead by creating a global movement to raise awareness about anxiety disorders, to eliminate stigma and to be informed about anxiety management and anxiety treatment,” Law said.  

So far, we’ve successfully secured over 25 landmark illuminations in five countries, proclamations by governments; and signatures of our online proclamation are coming in from several countries around the globe.

To show your support, you’re invited to:

  • sign the Action Anxiety Day proclamation in English or in French
  • share Action Anxiety Day with your network / your social media audience 
  • download and use elements from the Action Anxiety Day toolkit (i.e., Facebook Frame, Facebook Cover Photo, Twitter Header, Zoom background, social media images, etc.). The toolkit Is available in English and in French
  • #ACTonAnxiety leading up to and on June 10th by sharing your story (photos, videos, blogs, social media posts, etc.). For more ways to ACT visit the Action Anxiety Day website in English or in  French.
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