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Here are some vital mental health tips as students get back to class:

  1. Change can be a trigger: The first time your child is on their own this can be a really overwhelming feeling. This major change can bring out a child’s first episode of a mental health disorder or cause a lot of anxiety and/or nervousness. As a parent it is important to have a healthy way to help your child deal with this change by talking about emotions and fear your child may be facing; depending on their age, perhaps help them writing about their feelings, or and outdoor activity with them, even exercise if appropriate.
  2. Your Child Needs Lots Of Sleep: The brain doesn’t fully mature until the age of 25. Getting more than six hours of sleep helps the brain continue to develop, allows a student to retain more knowledge, and provides better health overall especially for a developing and growing child.
  3. Think About How Your Child Copes: The ways that children cope with difficult events like rejection, loss and change can carry into their future education. The longer a child uses a negative coping mechanism the harder it can be to change. As a parent it is important to recognize these negative methods and help the child develop healthier ways to cope with life’s challenges.

  4. If Your Child Has a Mental Health Disorder Have a Plan: For children that already have a diagnosed mental health disorder, it’s vital to know what support they need while in school. If you child does not already have a mental health professional, this would be a good first step. Have regular check ins with your child’s teacher to monitor any changes. Try to normalize mental health as a part of your child’s life rather than solely focusing on or isolating the mental health disorder itself.
  5. Let Your Child Make Mistakes: Children feel a lot of pressure to never mess up or fail, but those experiences are a part of life and can help your child to become much stronger. As a child goes through a process of learning about themselves, mistakes are bound to happen. The best way to achieve positive mental health is to help your child learn from past mistakes.
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