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Young people can feel a range of emotions when they're heading back to school, which include feelings of excitement, anticipation and nerves.

Some students can adjust to the changes and settle into things quickly. However, some young people may find this a daunting and challenging time.

There can be a number of reasons why it might be hard to go school: trying to make new friends, pressure to get the best marks, dealing with bullying, or perhaps going through a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression. These worries can make the next few weeks an uncertain time.

Whether you are a young person struggling, or a parent with concerns about your child, headspace is here to help. 

Advice for parents:

Warning Signs:

Most parents can tell when something is out of the ordinary, but there are also signs that suggest a young person might be experiencing a mental health problem. These are new and noticeable changes in the young person, lasting at least a few weeks, including:

  • Not enjoying, or not wanting to be involved in things that they would normally enjoy
  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
  • Being easily irritated or angry for no reason
  • Involving themselves in risky behaviour that they would usually avoid, like taking drugs or drinking too much alcohol
  • Seeming unusually stressed, worried, down or crying for no reason
  • Expressing negative, distressing, bizarre or unusual thoughts

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Tips for parents:

  • Talk openly and honestly with them, and let them know that you are concerned.
  • Reassure them that you will be there for them, and ask what they need from you.
  • Let them know that there is lots of help available.
  • Help find an appropriate service, such as a headspace centre and support them in attending.
  • Help them build a support network.
  • Look after yourself as well. Get some support by talking to someone you trust, and seek professional help for yourself if you need it.

More information

For more tips and information visit the parents section on our website

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