Share This Post
Back to School Mental Health
Summer is wrapping up which means families and teachers alike are starting to get back into the swing of things for the new school year. If the thought of you or your child going back to school fills you with dread and anxiety, you are not alone. Did you know that half of all mental health disorders begin by the age of 14, and about 75 percent begin by the age of 24? Parents are not exempt from these disorders either! Approximately 1 in 5 adults suffer from a mental illness. A new school year brings along its own challenges and it is important to know the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and to seek help.
Arch Clinical Trials knows how intimidating it can be to try to tackle mental health issues. Free, confidential, and anonymous screening tools are available at MHAScreening.org to find out if you or someone you love may have symptoms of a behavioral, emotional, or cognitive disorder. This school year strive to make smart choices about how to deal with difficult or uncomfortable feelings – and learn why your mental health matters. Remember, just like physical health, taking care of mental health struggles early can help prevent more serious problems from developing in the future.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Here are some tips for a mentally healthy school year:
- Reinforce good sleep habits: Getting plenty of rest and sleep are important not only for good grades and staying awake, but also for preventing depression and other mental health issues. Establish a reasonable bedtime routine.
- Be available and stay connected: Take time to listen and discuss experiences that may appear to be scary or challenging. Spend time each day talking about what happened in school. Give positive feedback about new experiences.
- Encourage healthy eating: Food choices affect mood, ability to concentrate and energy level – all key in your child’s academic success and overall well-being. Providing healthy food is important for mental and physical health.
- Reinforce good coping skills: Give your child a few strategies to manage difficult situations on their own. Many find talking with a trusted friend, adult, or therapist, journaling, exercising and listening to and/or playing music to be helpful ways of coping with stress.
We know that getting back into the swing of the daily school schedule takes some time. For that reason, do not be afraid to give yourself and your child a break if you find the first couple of weeks a little difficult to break free from that vacation mindset. If after the first couple weeks you find yourself still overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to start the conversation and reach out. If the dread and anxiety are still around, try using these grounding tips to help tackle those overwhelming feelings. Be vigilant of your own and your child’s mental health. If you or someone you love have feelings of hurting self or others, call 1-800-273-8255 for 24 hour support.
Click here for helpful ideas on how to keep yourself grounded during the back to school season.