BACK-TO-SCHOOL NERVES: Motivational Monday

The Morning Show

This time of year brings lots of changes for school-aged and college students alike. We tend to make sure everyone has been to the doctor to track their growth or physical health, get papers signed for sports physicals, and refills on asthma medications, but this is a really important time to also pay attention to mental health.

Keeping a healthy mind:

· Get enough sleep, a balanced diet, and set limits on screen time

· Talk to child or student about what’s going on in their life

· Help child or student learn how to communicate and express feelings and emotions

More than just “back-to-school nerves”:

· Physical clues – frequent stomachaches or headaches; appetite decrease or increase; disturbed sleeping patterns; absence in attendance and desire to stay in bed for college students

· Emotional/social clues – irritability and behavioral changes centered around academic work; decrease in communication, less talkative; loss of interest in beloved sports or activities; loss of interest in social engagements

Don’t be afraid to ask for help:

· Brains are like any other organ in the body and need treatment sometimes, too

· Anxiety, depression, ADHD, and others, stem from treatable problems (chemical imbalances or learned pattern of thinking)

· Therapy helps change thought process, which is a teachable skill

· Medications can often work with that skill to help get back to feeling best

Hidden problem:

· Only 25% of the millions of students, who struggle with mental health issues, are ever diagnosed

· Students who are recognized and treated have better long-term outcomes – reduced severity of symptoms; better and higher functioning at school and at home; less likely to have recurring symptoms later in life

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