Back to School | Helping Our Kids Enjoy a Safe and Healthy Return

Beavioral Health

Back to School | Helping Our Kids Enjoy a Safe and Healthy Return

Many children face typical emotional challenges returning to the classroom or college settings. Schools are expected to return in person this fall, with medical professionals agreeing that the benefits of in-person learning outweigh the concerns of contracting COVID. However, for some students returning to school, managing in-person socializing, academic expectations and changing COVID-19 guidelines have increased anxiety and other mental health challenges. Since the pandemic began, rates of psychological distress among young people, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders, have increased. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association have declared youth mental health a national emergency1.

How to Spot Warning Signs

It may be difficult to differentiate between typical or “normal” behaviors in young adults and what might be the signs of a mental illness. The best approach for identifying signs of mental illness is communicating with them and looking for any unusual behavior. Here are some changes to look for if you suspect your child or teen may struggle with their mental health3:

Joel Axler, M.D.

National Behavior Health Leader