Mental Health Professional suggest parents look out for “Back-to-School Anxiety”

Mental Health Professional suggest parents look out for “Back-to-School Anxiety”
Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 6:33 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - School will be back in session soon, and it could be accompanied with anxiety.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner with Deaconess, Briana Davis, says parents and teachers should keep an eye out for it.

“Back to School jitters are common, we all experience it so, especially those big transitions,” said Davis. “Fifth grade to sixth grade, 8th grade to 9th grade, so common to experience some anxiety and nervousness.”

Davis says parents can support their kids in this time by asking specific questions about what’s making them nervous. She says they can also support their students by creating a safe space for the child to discuss anxiety and other behavioral changes in a healthy way.

“Sometimes kids aren’t able to express their feelings and so we have to look at it from a different light and see what else is going on,” said Davis.

If your child is experiencing the following, Davies says it could be due to “Back-to-School Anxiety”:

· Changes in appetite- eating more or less food than normal

· Crying often

· Challenges falling asleep or an abnormal sleeping pattern

· Difficulty concentrating

· Irritability

Although “Back-to-School” jitters are normal, Davis says the child may need to be seen by a mental health professional if they are experiencing anxiety beyond their “Back-to School” period. She says her clients must be referred by a pediatrician or primary care physician in order to be seen.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing anxiety or another mental health illness, contact The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8.