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Giving Compass' Take:
• Rebecca Ruiz shares five tips for managing student mental health to prevent and address problems that may crop up during the school year.
• How can funders help students access the resources and help they need to cope with mental health problems?
If you're feeling a whirlwind of back-to-school stress and anxiety, there are effective ways to respond, says Theresa Nguyen, a licensed clinical social worker and vice president of policy and programs for Mental Health America.
Here are five of Nguyen's suggestions for making it through the challenging back-to-school period:
- Gauge the problem: It's important that any student who feels prolonged sadness or nervousness about school pay attention to important signs, such as stomach aches, trouble sleeping, and irritability. Those symptoms could indicate that you're struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression.
- Identify coping skills: Some students might already have a list of coping skills because they know going back to school can trigger emotional and mental distress. For other students, this is a new experience with a steep learning curve. Either way, Nguyen says it's important to ask yourself a series of questions: What worked before to help you feel better? What made things worse? Can you avoid that?
- Get educated: The internet is awash in mental health resources and educational materials.
- Know where to draw the line with the internet: While the internet can connect you to vital information and support, it can just as easily make you feel miserable.
- Reach out: Nguyen says it's normal for people experiencing mental health issues to feel unsure about what to do next. But the longer we wait to open up, the worse we feel. She urges young people to reach out to a friend, parent, counselor, coach, or someone else they trust.
Read the full article about student mental health by Rebecca Ruiz at Mashable.