January 31, 2019
The beginning of a new school year can be a challenging time for students.
There are academic pressures that come with stepping up to the next grade, or ones that come from changing schools and having to find new friends.
“Mental health is important,” service manager for headspace Bega Brianna Armstead said.
“If your mental health is struggling, then your learning will be impacted so it’s okay to prioritise your mental health.
“In my experience in mental health I have found it’s often young people will experience a lot of anxiety going back to school.”
She said stressors could include an expectation to get more work done, transitioning from primary to secondary school, going from a small school to a large high school with many students, and issues around identity such as sexuality.
Ms Armstead said it was quite normal to have feelings of anxiety during this time, but it became an issue when the negative thoughts and problems associated with anxiety such as being worried lasted for a long period.
If you were feeling depressed or anxious during this time, she said, it was important to get your basic needs met such as making sure you had enough sleep and ate breakfast.
Also, find something that can be calming for you, preferably things that engage your senses. For example, listening to music, making art, spending time with friends or doing sports such as surfing or horse riding.
“Talking to someone is great, and what is particularly important there is that expressing your feelings is helpful,” Ms Armstead said.
For teenagers that struggled to make friends, she said do not be afraid to seek out help from a teacher or year adviser who could help make an introduction as “just starting can be hard”.
“Even though it’s uncomfortable putting yourself out there, try to talk to people,” she said.
“You can practice things you’re going to say. It seems silly, but when you’re anxious it’s hard to think about the things you should do so if you practice it you’ll be more able to think about it when the time comes.”
Since headspace opened in Bega at the end of last year, 160 people have received support from the service which is now fully staffed with social workers and psychologists.
You can call the office on 1800 959 844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is located on the Sapphire Market Place rooftop on Upper St, Bega.
This article and picture were published in the Bega District News read more at:
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