Anxious Heads, Troubled Hearts

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Anxious Heads, Trouble Hearts:

Exploring anxiety in self and others


“When several demands are competing for your attention, especially demands that you consider important, it’s easy to feel anxious. Anxiety is just one of the many symptoms of stress.”1 This event had a special focus on providing tips and strategies for parents, teachers and leaders to build resilience in others and their teams in the aftermath of a major crisis.


  • Understanding the origins, signs and symptoms of anxiety
  • The short and long-term effects of COVID-19 (and other crisis situations) on anxiety for young people, adults and the wider community
  • Practical strategies for prevention and intervention
  • Understanding God and anxiety.


We are living in very interesting times. Our recent history is almost unthinkable – moving from drought, to fires, to floods, to a worldwide pandemic. This disruption is taking its toll on the entire community. As we deal with a viral pandemic, we may well be faced with something much more sinister in the personal realm if left unchecked, whose effects could be more long-term.

Relying on a Christian worldview Valerie Ling helps us to explore the nature of anxiety from a clinical perspective and provided us with timely advice on dealing with anxiety, while taking a long-term look at its effects. She helped us to understand the signs and effects of anxiety, offered practical solutions for dealing with our own anxiety, and helped us to consider how to help those we live and work with, those we lead, our students and the wider community.

1Proeschold-Bell, R. J. & Byassee, J. (2018). Faithful and Fractured (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic). p.27


Speaker: Valerie Ling

Valerie Ling is a Clinical Psychologist, Speaker, Published Author and Clinical supervisor working primarily in the pursuit of burnout prevention. Valerie is the Clinical Director and Founder of The Centre For Effective Living, a group Psychology practice dedicated to clinical excellence in mental health. Valerie has worked with agencies to create and implement wellness programmes that target systemic burnout from trainees to professional carers. She is a sought after speaker by health professionals, clergy, cross-cultural workers, chaplaincy and educators to present industry-specific and up to date research and strategies in burnout prevention. In her roles as Founder and Director of The Centre For Effective Living she leads a team of Psychologists in evidence-based treatment of mental health issues. Valerie is a committed Christian. She has worked extensively with the staff and students at Moore Theological College and with clergy through the Centre for Ministry Development seeking to improve mental health and well-being for those in the caring professions. She is married to Josh, who is a Presbyterian Minister.

Video Recording

Further Reading for Teacher Identified Professional Learning

Below you will find the readings that Valerie Ling has identified as further reading. These readings will give you further insight into the content of the evening and will be valuable to inform your thinking.

1. Parkinson, D. & Zara, C. (2013). The Hidden Disaster: Domestic violence in the aftermath of natural disaster. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 28(2): 28-35.

2. Shah, K., Kamrai, D., Mekala, H., Mann, B., Desai, K. & Patel, R.S. (2020). Focus on Mental Health During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Applying learnings from the past outbreaks. Cureus, 12:3. DOI:

3. Sprang, G. & Silman, M. (2013). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Parents and Youth After Health-related Disasters.Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, Vol. 7, No. 1: 105-110.

4. Talidong, KJB. & Toquero, CMD. (2020). Philippine Teachers’ Practices to Deal with Anxiety amid COVID-19. Journal of Loss and Trauma, May 2020. DOI:

5. TB & Outbreaks Weekly. Coronavirus – COVID-19; Researchers at King George’s Medical University Release New Data on COVID-19 (Study of knowledge, attitude, anxiety & perceived mental healthcare need in Indian population during COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved June 1, 2020, from

6. The Lookout. Covid-19 and Family Violence. Retrieved June 1, 2020, from

7. Xie, X., Xue, Q., Zhou, Y., Zhu, K., Liu, Q., Zhang, J. & Song, R. (2020). Mental Health Status Among Children in Home Confinement During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak in Hubei Province, China. JAMA Paediatrics, E2 (April 2020). DOI: