A reader wrote to Mayo Clinic said that her teenage son is looking forward to returning to school this fall, especially after months of distance learning due to the pandemic, as sitting in front of the computer all day was not easy for him. He is not worried about sitting behind a plastic barrier or wearing a face mask. In contrast, her 7-year-old daughter is nervous and cries whenever they talk about back-to-school. How does a parent ease the transition for them?
An Advent of Uncertainty
Heading back to school in advent of uncertainty could adversely affect children and families. They could be at risk of mental health problems including anxiety and depression in the fluctuating and unstable environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hybrid Learning for Other Students
For other students, back-to-school time means remote online learning or hybrid learning combining in-person and on-screen instruction, reported Parent Coalition for Student Privacy.
Mental Health Support
Mental health support is accessible. Parents, guardians, and carers are being prompted to stay alert to signs that children could be experiencing low mood, distress, or other mental health problems as students return to the classroom following months away, reported MYSefton.
A Different School Year and Its Posed Unique Challenges
One thing is clear: this school year would be unlike any other school year in history. Pupils would face the prospect of attending classes with rigid novel coronavirus measures in place including wearing masks and obeying social distancing precautions.
Teachers should consider unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and how they can offer support for students. Teachers should ensure that looking after students' mental health is one of the routines in place during back-to-school, reported Tes.
Here are back-to-school tips for managing the mental health of students:
1. Remember that Anxiety Can Be a False Alarm
Discuss with children regarding how our bodies have an alarm system called anxiety. Anxiety warns us from danger by making us feel fear and getting us prepared to take flight when the situation necessitates us to.
2. Keep a Healthy Mindset
Focus on the positive. As schools identify their approaches, students would need varying mental health support in accordance with their age and the class format.
3. Early Intervention is Prevention
Mental health professionals have specified numerous tools and measures to ward off triggers for mental problems and markers in children and adults. They include the Feelings Chart, Feelings Journal, mindfulness, daily movement and exercise, and creativity.
4. Be on the Lookout for Signs of Mental Health Problems
"It is more important than ever to look out for our children and young people and to help them access the support they need. We know it is not easy to talk about mental health, we would really like to encourage young people to have open conversations about their wellbeing, and to reach out for help if they need it," according to Dr. Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
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