Saturday, May 25, 2024
Back-to-school anxiety: Mental health worries resurface

Back-to-school anxiety: Mental health worries resurface

Mental Health Concerns as Students Return to the Classroom

ROANOKE, Va. – With students heading back into the classroom, there are mental health concerns for students, parents, and teachers.

“Mental health is part of our physical health and so we want people to be as well as they can be,” Shawn Hughes, director of school counseling.

Experts said some of the most common stressors for back to school are financial stress for parents and student anxiety for the new school year.

Mental health experts said financial stress plays a major role in some parents’ lives. Roanoke County officials said they have plans in place to help alleviate this.

Support Systems in Place for Students and Teachers

“If we have any students or families that are in need of supplies, they can see their teacher, they can see their school counselor, we will help to make sure they have what they need in order to be successful,” said Hughes. “For other additional needs, certainly families can reach out to their school’s school counselor and we can see what is possible in that area.”

Teachers are also feeling the pressure of getting back into the classrooms. Experts said many teachers have the feeling of being burnt out throughout the school year.

Roanoke County Public Schools said they have ways to help teachers with this.

“If there is any staff member that is having increased stress or struggling with any type of mental health issues, they can reach to a mental health provider and schedule an appointment to meet with a licensed counselor,” said Hughes.

Roanoke County officials said they have programs in place in case a student needs to talk to someone.

“We offer what is called life counseling,” said Hughes. “We have licensed mental health clinicians that are available to meet with students with a parent’s consent.”

Tips for Reducing School-related Stress

Lora Dudley, a licensed clinical social worker, said there are some ways to help alleviate the stress of school at home.

“Take inventory of what exactly are your stressors,” said Dudley. “I encourage my patients, let’s triage them, let’s rank them. Where are they, and once you do that, what can we do to reduce them? Some we may not have the ability to reduce things on.”

She also said if you are feeling overwhelmed – it should go away and is completely normal.

“It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed,” said Dudley. “When that feeling of overwhelmed becomes concerning is when it is ongoing and persistent.”

Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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