Back to school mental health

Some information from this article is repurposed from Mental Health America (MHA). 

It is that time of year when teachers are busily getting their classrooms ready for the drove of students to enter, parents and caregivers are gathering school supplies, and students are picking out their first day outfits. It is an exciting time, but it can also be a time of mixed emotions for many youth that are struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression.  

This is a critical time for students and their mental health. The back-to-school transition is challenging enough on its own—navigating academics, social dynamics, and personal growth are very difficult. Social media and online activity add an extra layer. There is growing evidence linking heavy social media use with increased risks for anxiety and depression. These mental health issues can, in turn, impact a student’s school performance, such as difficulties focusing, studying, or even simply attending school. It’s important for caregivers and school personnel to understand what is happening on social media and how to reduce its negative impact. 

Virtual spaces are everywhere for today’s youth and it can be challenging to navigate such complex and vast online spaces. The pressure to maintain a perfect online image, fueled by constant comparison to peers, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. Young people may experience fear of missing out (FOMO) when they watch the highlight reels of their friends’ lives, bringing on feelings of loneliness and isolation. In addition, exposure to cyberbullying and negative comments can take a toll on their self-esteem, putting them at risk of experiencing depression. 

As the new school year begins, it is crucial for parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, counselors, and school administrators to work together to educate and support young people in navigating responsibly the challenges of a digital world while fostering a healthy sense of self-worth and resilience. Thankfully, there are many resources to help protect youth mental health in this time of back-to-school transition and in a digital world. 

During the transition to the new school year, it is critical to understand the importance of mental health for students. The most impactful way of showing the importance of mental health is modeling it for them. Modeling healthy behaviors can have a profound impact on young people. Also knowing how to be supportive and how to help manage mental health will ease with the transition to the new school year. It is important for caregivers and school personnel to work together to aid in a successful back to school experience so students can thrive and be the best versions of themselves. Working together will help as schools begin to open their doors and welcome students back to the classroom.  

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: