Kids Help Phone counsellors prepare for back-to-school blues

i knew high school was going to b hard, but i mean wow this is like killing me!! *

TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Excitement about friends and new supplies, worries about fitting in and meeting teachers' expectations are inevitable as kids are reminded that it's back-to-school season. But at Kids Help Phone, counsellors know that for some, the early nervous energy can quickly turn to paralyzing anxiety. School can be a tense and anxiety-provoking place.

I know its a little early to be worring about September but I'm already having sleepless nights and anxieity. I am the one everyone likes to pick on.  I'm fat, I'm stupid, Im ugly, I'm stupid, I'm poor, I'm stupid, I'm fat, I'm stupid. Im dreading the day the bus comes - the bus is the worst nightmare of my life bc its none stop abuse all the way to school.  I don't want friends I just want to be left alone! **

With well over six million kids heading to public schools, colleges and universities this September***, many will need effective coping strategies to help manage the transition. In the hope of increasing the number of young people who receive appropriate support, Kids Help Phone is going right to the heart of the matter by sending schools across the country its new awareness campaign material designed to encourage, educate and inspire young people to step up and reach out for help and support.

"We know that the #1 way kids hear about us is through their school. By joining efforts with educators, we can foster the emotional health and well-being of Canada's children and youth," says Dr. Janice Currie, Vice President, Counselling Services at Kids Help Phone

To ensure that all students understand that they can talk about whatever is troubling them with one of Kids Help Phone's bilingual and professional counsellors, a centerpiece of the fall awareness efforts is the website.  It is the only website in Canada that brings together the information needed to provide both kids and teens, via separate and age-appropriate sites, with the tools to deal with stressful times and provide answers to questions too difficult to discuss with anyone else. The newly transformed website offers a direct counselling channel, and features a wealth of research-based information, coupled with games to educate and interactive self-care and resiliency building tools.

"Reading stories which resonate with your own, and accessing trusted information are both powerful ways to find comfort and perspective without ever feeling like you've given yourself away. Our websites can make counselling more accessible to kids who are too shy, too scared, or not ready yet to speak to a counselor," adds Dr. Currie.

Parents and guardians can also help alleviate back to school stress and one important tip is to talk about the possible stressors.

  • Many kids fear that their parents won't be willing to hear them out. Let them know that you are safe to talk to. Encourage them to talk about both the good stuff and the bad, and make an effort to really listen; reflect that you 'get it' when you do, and ask for clarification when you don't.  Show them that you want to understand them.
  • Explicitly tell them that you're open to talking about the really tough stuff, and that there's nothing they could tell you that would damage the relationship irreparably.
  • Don't make assumptions about what your child is going through. Instead,  ask questions, show that you are interested, and acknowledge that if your child is bringing this concern to you that it's worthy of some time and attention.
  • Don't rush to solutions.  Instead ask your child what would be most helpful right now.  Maybe your child just needs someone to listen. You won't know what they most want from you until you ask.
  • Remember that it's okay not to have all of the answers - you're not expected to.  But parents and teachers can take comfort in knowing that Kids Help Phone does.

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading youth counselling service, moving kids from distress and isolation to confidence and competence. Available anytime of the day or night, in English and French, by phone and by web, it is the go-to resource for kids in Canada from five to 20 when they need help or trustworthy information on issues that are difficult to discuss with anyone else. Providing a service that is free, anonymous and confidential, Kids Help Phone is a respected charity, vitally dependent on individual donations and corporate support to remain available to kids looking for help; sometimes looking for a lifeline.

* please consult the appended Kids Posts to access the full post from the Kids Help Phone Ask Us Online service

** post from Kids Help Phone Ask Us Online counselling service, edited to protect the anonymity of the client

*** based on Statscan 2006/2007 academic year (Over 5.16 million youth were enrolled in public schools, and just over 1,066,000 students were enrolled in Canadian universities during the academic year 2007/2008)

i knew high school was going to b hard, but i mean wow this is like killing me!! i found out something about myself, when i get extreamly stressed i shake like a leaf!!! and i like to chew, like last night i chewed the paint off my pencil!! i need to calme down but cant. i keep crying for no reason, ugggg its just so stressful. i mean im crying right now and i dont know y!!!! what should i do??? i cant concentrate i cant sleep. i cant do anything!!! help me plz!!

I used to get good grades but as i got older my mother got tougher and tougher on me. Getting my report card were the scariest times of the year. I knew shed get mad at me...and she did. She would yell at me, ground me, take things away because of my "bad" grades, but wouldnt say anything about my better grades. So eventually i gave up. she always said i could do better even though i tried. so now i don't really care about school and she yells at me more because of my declining grades. What should i do to make her ease up? and ive tried talking to her i just don't know what to say anymore! 

There's this huge expectation for me to go to university. The stuff I really really really like doing, like drawing and design, are college courses! Not university. My parents always say to do what I love doing, but there's always that underlining expectation to be greater than they are and to do more with my life. And that's to go to university. It just seems pointless. I just want them to back off and let me decide what I want to do myself. How can I get them to stop?

When the teacher asked "Okay, tell me what your name and how old you are." my face turned red and my eyes started to water and she dropped it and moved on to the next person.  When the time came to 'Tell me your name and a hobby or an interesting fact about you.' I seriously started to panic and started to shake, my mind started to race and jolts of sharp pains came shooting into my chest and breathing became a great difficulty. I no longer had any control over myself.  When she said "anything unique about you?" I shook my head and then it was real quiet and then someone shouted out  "She doesn't talk, that could be unique". and i got up and just left the room. I really want to ask my mum to take me to get tested for anxiety, but she will probably just passed it off as nothing when i asked to be taken to the doctor when i was younger. I didnt know what it was then, but I knew it was something.

There is no gay-straight alliance in my school. I would really like for there to be. I'm in middle school so shouldent there be? and since there isent, how could I get the school to make one, with being compleatly anonomus at the same time? I know I'm bi. but I don't know anyone else in my school. I'm lonley, and the glbtq site sucks.... any advice?  

My parents think that i am completely tuned out from my culture, and often tell me that i dont even belong to the family. When i got 3 B's and one A on my report card, they directly told me that they were shameful grades and that I shouldn't be proud of those. This semester, when I got 3 A's and 1 B, they told me again that it wasn't any better. I'm frustrated, I have fights with my mom everyday, and i cant take it anymore.

All back-to-school kids'comments were posted to

SOURCE Kids Help Phone

For further information: For further information:

Beth Merrick   
(416) 654-9881

Alyson Waite
(416) 586-5437 #8389

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