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Mental health remains focus during start of new school year

Posted at 4:34 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 08:22:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As students make their way back into the classroom for the new school year, their mental well-being continues to be a big focus.

Experts said it should be addressed both at school and at home as there's been a big increase in students struggling with anxiety and depression caused by the pandemic.

Recent studies show a higher percentage of back-to-school shopping has included mental wellness products. There are resources out there like evidence-based workbooks that focus on a child's mental health and apps for relaxing that can be effective. Experts urge guardians to check into those resources before handing them over to a child to make sure they can impact them in a positive way.

They also recommend looking into after-school activities that might suit a child or teen's interests and any extracurriculars. If it's the right fit, it can not only help a student become more competent in certain areas but can also raise self-esteem.

Just make sure your child has enough free time and they're not over-scheduled.

"The nice thing about extracurricular activities is it's usually with peers so you're getting that social connection, which we know builds resilience," said psychologist Mary Alvord. "You know your ability to deal with stresses because you have a support group."

For parents and caregivers, experts stress the importance of caring for themselves before they can truly address their child.