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Coping with back-to-school anxiety

The back-to-school advertisements are playing every hour on television and social media accounts. Teachers are doing their final preparations to welcome students back to class. Parents are working hard to ensure that their children have everything they need for this new school year. Students are also preparing mentally with the up’s and down’s of returning to school following the long COVID break, new school, New teachers, rebuilding FRIENDSHIPS and trying to return to some sort of routine.

It’s a bitter-sweet feeling between the desire to keep your children safe for a little longer and also releasing them to begin school again. We’re still living in a pandemic and it’s normal to have concerns about your children’s safety.

Students are excited about resuming normalcy, seeing their friends again, getting new school supplies, and learning but there’s no denying that the past year, living in a pandemic, may have spiked their anxiety levels. A recent survey on children’s mental health during Covid-19 revealed that:

  • 25% of high school students have dealt with poor mental and health outcomes and only a third felt equipped enough to cope with their stressors.

  • Anxiety and depression were the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues for adolescents between ages 13 -18.

  • Children between ages 5-12 showed elevated symptoms of anxiety at 6%.

As your family warms up to this season, it’s important to remember that your children have opened school before but not in a pandemic environment. The stakes are different this time. They abruptly ended their school year when COVID-19 began and were immediately thrust into a new wave of learning…. all with no prior preparation.

Yes, they may be excited about seeing what the new term has to offer but we mustn’t forget that something changed in the past year. Their minds and bodies will have to adjust to new schedules and health guidelines.


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