Psychologists are recommending that families focus on mental health before students return to classrooms this fall.
After a school year in which most students saw drastic impacts to school operations, medical professionals are encouraging children, especially those anxious about returning to in-person learning, to talk about their concerns and mental well-being.
Brian Leitzke, a pediatric and adult clinical health psychologist for UW Health, says planning ahead and discussing expectations for the upcoming school year can help ease the transition back into the classroom for children.
“Just like many of us, children have anxieties or things they are nervous about as they go back to school, but they might not be able to articulate them that well and they might fully understand what those anxieties are yet,” Leitzke said.
Other ideas to help ease the transition include visiting the school building, if it’s permitted, as well as working in small groups over the summer. Families can also provide structure, such as creating routines to help build consistency.