The start of a new school year can be a time of excitement for many children, but it can also be a source of anxiety for some. Back-to-school anxiety is a normal reaction to change, but it can become a problem if it interferes with a child’s ability to function at school or at home.
First, it’s crucial to recognize the signs that might indicate your child’s mental health needs attention:
Mood Changes: Feeling persistently sad, anxious, or irritable
Isolation: Withdrawing from friends and family, avoiding social interactions
Changes in Appetite or Sleep Patterns: Significant weight gain or loss, trouble falling asleep or oversleeping
Difficulty Concentrating: Struggling to focus on tasks and schoolwork
Physical Complaints: Frequent headaches, stomach aches, or other unexplained physical discomfort
Loss of Interest: Losing interest in activities once enjoyed
Low Self-Esteem: Negative self-perception or excessive self-criticism
Sometimes we all need help, especially parents who have their own pressures. It’s helpful to understand that adolescence is a critical period when mental health issues can emerge or intensify due to hormonal changes, brain development, and external pressures.
If your child is struggling with back-to-school anxiety and stress that is outside of the norm, then they may be appropriate for a partial hospital program. If stress and anxiety are interfering with their ability to attend school, complete assignments, sleep, engage in friendships or exhibit increased irritability, these may be signs that intervention is needed.
Our adolescent partial hospital programs on our Brookline campus and in Lowell provide teens with strategies for managing anxiety, coping with social and academic pressures, communication with peers and family, improving self-esteem, and increasing their ability to tolerate distress.
Our specific partial hospital approach for adolescents include:
- Developing skills to manage anxiety and depression
- Creating individualized treatment plans
- Trauma-informed treatment
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Medication evaluations
- Regularly scheduled tutoring
We know that the journey through adolescence is a rollercoaster of emotions, self-discovery, and challenges. As a parent facing the back-to-school season, it’s essential for you to help your teen to not only prepare their backpacks but also equip themselves with the tools to manage their mental well-being. Going back to school can sometimes exacerbate mental health struggles.
If you are concerned that your child may be struggling with back-to-school anxiety, please contact Bournewood Hospital today. We are here to help your child get the support they need to have a successful school year.