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Educators Employ Strategies To Help Kids With Anxiety Return To School

NPR – Samantha Raphelson

“Your child doesn’t want to go to school. It’s a daily struggle that many parents are familiar with. But what if your child refuses to go to school? Mental health professionals and educators say what used to be considered run-of-the-mill truancy could actually be something else. Some cases of chronic absenteeism are now being called “school refusal,” which is triggered by anxiety, depression, family crises and other traumatic events. It can lead to weeks or even months of missed school days.”(more)

Quarter of 14-year-old girls ‘have signs of depression’

BBC – Michelle Roberts

“The government-funded study of over 10,000 young people looked at how many experienced the signs of depression not a clinical diagnosis of one. Being from a poorer background or being of mixed or white ethnic background appeared to raise the risk. Surveys with their parents, however, suggested many were not attuned to the true anxieties of their children. Parents often underestimated daughters’ stress and had concerns about sons that the boys themselves did not voice.”(more)

Talking about suicide and self-harm in schools can save lives

Medical X-Press – Sarah Stanford

“Suicide and self-harm remain taboo topics in schools, despite the fact youth suicide has reached a ten year high. Recent statistics show around eight children and young people die by suicide each week in Australia. Around one in ten self-harm during their teenage years. This loss of life means that the topic is too important not to talk about, but parents and teachers are often concerned that talking about suicide or self-harm may put ideas in young, impressionable minds.”(more)

‘Sharp rise’ in student mental illness tests universities

BBC – Judith Burns

Almost five times as many students as 10 years ago have disclosed a mental health condition to their university, say researchers. In 2015-16, more than 15,000 UK-based first-year students disclosed mental health issues, Institute of Public Policy Research analysis suggests. The 2006 figure was about 3,000 and the rise risks overwhelming university services, the IPPR says. Universities UK said student mental health was “a strategic priority”. UUK says a new framework, published on Monday, will boost the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff and help embed good mental health across all university activities.”(more)

The rise in student mental health problems – ‘I thought my tutor would say: deal with it’

The Guardian – Donna Ferguson

“Sadly, many university students like Gee will fail to get the help they need. The Higher Education Statistics Agency recently revealed the number of students who drop out of university with mental health problems has more than trebled since 2009-10, with a record 1,180 university students with mental health problems abandoning their studies in 2014-15, the most recent year for which data was available. How can those starting university this academic year avoid this? Do today’s students find university more of a struggle than their predecessors and, if so, why?.”(more)

Having A Best Friend In Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You For Life

KQED News Mind/Shift – Angus Chen

“The researchers followed 169 people for 10 years, starting when they were 15 years old. At age 15 and again at 16, the participants were asked to bring in their closest friends for one-on-one interviews with the researchers. “[They were asked] how much trust there is, how good communication is and how alienated they feel in the relationship,” says Rachel Narr, the lead author on the study and a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia. Each year, the original participants were also given questionnaires to assess levels of anxiety, depression and self-worth. Narr says that when she watched videos made in the early years of the study of the teens asking their best friends for advice or support or talking through a disagreement, it was easy to tell which relationships were strong. “These teens tend to be open with one another about difficult topics, and they’re more engaged with one another and helping the other person and connecting with the other person,” she says.”(more)