NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Between recent mass shootings and the pandemic, it’s important for parents to keep an eye on their child’s state of mind. Beth Walser, with Volunteer Behavorial Health, joins Nickelle Smith in the News 2 studio with more on ways to be proactive about mental health.

Walser says there are multiple signs parents can look for when determining if their child has any anxiety about returning to school. 

“A lot of kids bring up little things like ‘I wonder if that kid is going to make fun of me this year,’ or ‘What if my teacher doesn’t like me,’” said Walser, “It’s easy for parents to just say ‘don’t worry about it,’ but really being able to open up that line of communication with your kids and ask ‘What is worrying you?’ is something parents can do to get them to open up about their fears and concerns.” 

Walser suggests parents do the following to ease anxiety ahead of a new school year:

  • Stick to a routine
  • Talk about anxieties
  • Discuss what they should expect such as their classes, teachers, and sleep schedules 
  • Model a positive attitude

To learn more about navigating mental health ahead of a new school year watch the entire interview above.