Montgomery County, Tennessee — May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an emotionally charged topic for many people, says the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS).
Conversations around mental health are essential to discuss, especially when it comes to our young people. Together, schools and families need to be aware of and meet the social and emotional needs of students.
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 in 3 teenagers (13 to 19 years old) will suffer from an anxiety disorder. Adults should stay aware of the signs of anxiety in children and adolescents. Some children may openly share their anxiety, while others may not understand the emotions. When speaking with these Clarksville High School athletes, they all experienced different levels of anxiety, which presented themselves in different ways.
Signs of Anxiety in Children
- Recurrent fears and worries about routine aspects of daily life
- Behavioral changes, such as irritability
- Avoiding activities, school, or social interactions
- School dropout or school avoidance
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Substance use or other risky behaviors
- Chronic physical complaints, such as fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches
It is important to take an active role in your child’s education. Engage in regular conversations with your children about potential stressors. Try to empathize with them and see the world from their point of view.
Help your child set realistic expectations to reach their potential. Sometimes that can mean they have to work up the courage to ask for help. Remember to encourage them to relax, play and be with friends, which are crucial for their mental and physical health.
Talk to your child about their use of social media. Help them take breaks and help them think critically and rationally about the effect of social media on their lives. We need to recognize the significant impact of today’s experiences on the mental health of young people – and the importance of providing the education, care and support they need.
Worried about yourself or someone you love?
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to ask questions.
Try to understand what they are going through and how their daily life is impacted.