Back to the books: Monarch expert shares tips to help students overcome anxiety
Going back to school, or starting a new grade can be a big transition for younger children. Many children are anxious and can get stressed about the upcoming changes in the new school year. Dr. Randall Purdy, a Monarch psychiatrist, advises parents not to discount these fears.
“Your child’s fear and anxiety is real and it’s there. Remind them they aren’t the only ones with these fears, they’ll have a whole class and group of kids exactly like them,” he said.
He also provided a number of tips for parents to help them ease back into the school year:
Transition your schedule: Start transitioning from summer schedule to school schedule ahead of time. Don’t go from staying up until 2 a.m. to getting ready for school the next day. Start transitioning back two weeks prior to the start of school if possible.
Help your kids get all the information ahead of time: Go to the school, map out their classes and schedule and go over it with them to help relieve some of the stress of the unknown.
Know where your kids stand: Are they reading at grade level, do they need extra work? Keep up with their grades and provide or find support if they need extra work in a specific subject.
Consistency: Kids do much better with consistency and a regular routine, but boundaries help create safety and understanding as to what is allowed.
When it comes to anxiety, depression and mental health, Dr. Purdy said it’s important for students to remember they’re not alone. He also stresses the importance to parents to be aware of changes in behavior of children who may be struggling with a mental health condition and find the appropriate support for those who need it.
“Don’t keep it a secret,” he advised. “Help your child find the right professional support.”
For more information and to learn more about Monarch’s services, including Open Access, which provides same day care to mental health services, call (866) 272-7826 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.
Established in 1958, Monarch is a not-for-profit organization that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and certified by The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA). Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch provides support, please call (866) 272-7826 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.