Turn2Me, a national mental health charity, has stated that going back to school can cause heightened anxiety for young people and their families. The charity said the rising cost of living is impacting the cost of education and many parents across the country are feeling the pinch. Turn2Me has published a list of three tips on its website, Turn2Me.ie, for young people returning to, or starting, school.
“High levels of anxiety can negatively impact the quality of education,” Fiona O’Malley, CEO of Turn2Me, said, “The concept of going back to school can be quite daunting for a lot of young people, particularly after the recent pandemic disruptions. They might be experiencing bullying, isolation, exam pressure or stresses from their home environment.”
Turn2Me also emphasised that back-to-school pressures also affect parents, with the rising cost of living impacting the cost of education and a change in routine. The charity gave three tips for young people who are feeling anxious about going back to school:
- Speak to someone about your anxiety.
Turn2Me is encouraging young people feeling anxious about going back to school to speak to a loved one about how they’re feeling. Sometimes just speaking to someone can reduce these anxieties. The charity emphasised that it runs free support groups most evenings at 6pm, and it also runs a free ‘Thought Catcher’ mood diary everyday from 2pm until 8pm. Both services are available on the Turn2Me website – turn2me.ie
- Organise your back-to-school change.
Prepare your uniform, books, stationery and PE gear the night before and set your alarm with plenty of time to get up, have a shower, and have breakfast. This will reduce the stress of the morning rush. Rushing can lead to unnecessary stresses. Being organised will mitigate these stress levels.
- Join clubs and societies to make new friends.
Don’t worry if you don’t have friends in your new school – lots of people are in the same boat. Having good friends increases our sense of belonging and increases our happiness. It also decreases stress. Joining drama, music, dance, debating or sports clubs can be a great way to make new friends!
If you’re feeling lonely or need some support, sign up for the free support groups or the free ‘Thought Catcher’ mood diary on Turn2Me.ie