Back to School Anxiety – Our Students’ Mental Health

It may be early August, but school is back in session! For those blessed with children across Central Florida, we hope you a have a low-stress and exciting back-to-school week for you and your family. Indeed, it feels like our entire Central Florida community sees this as a new chapter we all get to share in. When we embrace these new seasons and changes, preparing, planning, and expressing enthusiasm and optimism… our kids take notice and want to emulate the behavior modeled before them.

As adults, we often talk about the stress and anxiety we face at work, in our relationships, and throughout our daily lives. It’s important to remember that kids often experience the same feeling that adults do. It may manifest itself differently in children though, so let’s review two very important, and clinically recognized signs of mental health concerns for kids.

  • Avoidance: When a child communicates (verbally or nonverbally) a strong desire to avoid a situation, person, or activity, take the extra time to investigate it carefully. There are typical fears (i.e., new schools, new teachers, etc.) that cause anxiety, but if resistance is persistent and interferes with daily activities like school, it could be cause for concern and should be addressed.
  • Extreme Distress: Similar to avoidance, when a child is showing signs of increasing or persistent distress, including difficulty sleeping, constant worry, and even physical problems such as stomach aches or headaches, it may stem from an anxiety disorder.

If you are noticing concerning behaviors in your children and have questions or need some help, call us at (407) 875-3700, option 3. Our behavioral healthcare professionals will help you identify your needs, make an appropriate referral, and help schedule an appointment if appropriate.

Let’s continue to build a better place for our young ones and model the behavior of prioritizing mental health and safety above all.

We hope you enjoy the last few days of “summer break,” and please join in celebrating this important time for families.

Have a great Back-to-School season!