TORONTO, Aug. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Some adults might look back on their summer vacations and remember that those long, hot days felt like they would last forever.
But even though summer's not over yet, many kids are already experiencing back to school anxiety.
"We get a lot of calls in August from worried kids," says Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, professional counsellor at Kids Help Phone. "They're thinking that September is right around the corner. And they're worried about what to wear, worried about getting lost, worried about peer pressure, or worried about bullying."
This anxiety can mean that for some young people, the summer holidays might feel like they've come to an early end as they become preoccupied with thoughts of going back to school.
"The back to school rush can be stressful for parents, too," Roberts says. "Many kids can start to feel stress as they watch and listen as their parents try to fit in the extra things their children need for a new school year."
Kids Help Phone counsellors are available for media interviews about back to school anxiety, and to offer tips on how parents can help.
Why we want to talk about this
Going back to school after summer vacation is about more than attending classes and taking exams. It is also about making new friends, adjusting to new teachers, and facing many of new challenges. School can be a wonderful experience, but for many young people it can also be stressful.
- 24% of the calls and online contacts Kids Help Phone receives relate to mental health, including stress and anxiety (please note this does not include suicide)
- 21% of Kids Help Phone contacts relate to peer issues, such as peer pressure
- 10% of Kids Help Phone contacts relate to bullying
- 3% of contacts relate to school issues, including changing schools, academic problems, ADHD and learning disabilities, dropping out…
- Kids Help Phone often hears from young people who are struggling with the pressure to succeed and compete academically
What kids tell us
School is what is tearing me apart right now. I CAN'T COPE with it!!! it's only the fourth day and already I come home and cry in a ball at night….. i can't do this… i am soo discouraged right now. I want out… I want to escape right now!!! please help me.
- actual post from kidshelpphone.ca
What can parents do? Kids Help Phone experts are here to share some tips.
"Ask kids how they feel about going back to school," Roberts says. "If they're worried about starting a new school, changing teachers, or academic pressures, help them think back to past experiences where they met challenges. How did they overcome previous changes? Help them use past competencies to cope with current anxieties."
Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors can offer useful tips for parents on helping their kids prepare to go back to school. Whether young people are in elementary, middle, or high school, or are transition into post-secondary, Kids Help Phone is there for all of them, and can help parents be there, too.
About Kids Help Phone
Since 1989, Kids Help Phone has been Canada's leading online and phone counselling service for youth. It's free, it's anonymous and confidential, and it's available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year in English and in French. Professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people, ages five to 20, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources. As a community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government funding and relies on community and corporate support to fund its essential and vital service.
To learn more about Kids Help Phone, please visit www.kidshelpphone.ca.
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SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
For further information:
To set up an interview about back to school, please contact:
Liz Worth, Communications Coordinator:
1-800-268-3062 ext. 8955