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Expert Views On How To Handle Back To School Stresses

Expert Views On How To Handle Back To School Stresses. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from Emma Taylor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Lead at Wysa. Emma will share valuable insights on ways to support young individuals who may be struggling with their mental health. This is particularly important since a significant percentage of young people experience symptoms that require expert assistance. Therefore, her tips will help guide concerned individuals on how best to address the mental health needs of young people.

Expert Views On How To Handle Back To School Stresses

Research by Wysa reveals that more than 8 in 10 teenagers are experiencing mental health worries, with 1 in 3 needing professional support, according to standard screening. But most worryingly, young people aren’t getting the help they need. More than half (55%) who scored three or more on Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2 and Patient Health Questionnaire-2 screening questionnaires for anxiety and depression haven’t spoken to a relevant professional. Since 7 in 10 (69%) young people said they are apprehensive about school work and exams, what can parents do to help their young people this September?

Emma Taylor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Lead at Wysa, a leading AI mental health app clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression, shares her top tips.

Establish A Routine

Help young people and teenagers create a structured daily routine that includes time for schoolwork, hobbies, exercise and physical activity, relaxation and seeing their friends. A consistent routine can provide stability and security, essential for well-being, as it can reduce anxiety.

Expert Views On How To Handle Back To School Stresses

Sleep And Sleep

Our work with schools in Scotland shows that sleep is one of the most significant stresses felt by 7 in 10 young people. A lack of sleep makes them anxious and stressed, or stress, worry, and anxiety stop them from sleeping. Encourage young people to get a good night’s sleep by having a good routine, having downtime before bed, and keeping busy during the day so that they get physically tired. Remind them that being well rested gives them the energy to do the great things they want to – sleep is excellent.

Teach Stress Management Techniques

One great way to relieve anxiety and stress is through grounding via meditation and mindfulness. Help young people and teenagers learn stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or journaling. These techniques can provide them practical tools to cope with stress and anxiety.

Meet Them Where They Are

Young people use their phones all the time. The Wysa Youth Report showed that if teenagers had a free mental health app they could talk to about their worries in confidence, 78% would choose the app over a teacher. 3 in 10 say they go to TikTok for support with mental health. Wysa is available to young people aged 13+, with tailored and personalised support that works for teenagers.

Encourage Open Communication

Create an environment where young people feel comfortable expressing their feelings and concerns. Please encourage them to discuss their experiences, anxieties, and challenges regarding returning to school. Don’t dismiss their worries but use active listening where you paraphrase what they have said so that they feel heard.

Don’t Make It All About Academic Performance

Raising the next generation is about supporting them to become well-rounded individuals. Please encourage them to do their homework and focus on school, but don’t make it all about getting top grades. Too much pressure can make younger people more anxious and stressed, resulting in a performance decline.

Promote Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Emphasise the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, such as regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and sufficient sleep. These lifestyle factors are crucial in managing mental health and overall well-being. Cook with them and make tasty snacks that are easy to grab.

Encourage Social Connections

Support young people in fostering positive social relationships with their friends, and help them meet new people. Please encourage them to participate in activities that interest them, join clubs or sports teams, or engage in community events. Social connections provide support and a sense of belonging and can boost confidence.

Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Help young people develop problem-solving skills to address challenges they may encounter at school. Please encourage them to break down problems into manageable steps, brainstorm solutions, and consider the potential outcomes of their decisions. Problem-solving is one of the skills that CBT teaches, using critical thinking.

Top Stresses

Young people in West London are using Wysa via Hammersmith, West London & Fulham Mind, which is available to students in Edinburgh schools and is being rolled out in regions nationwide.

Top Stresses For 13-17-Year-Olds According To Independent Research

  • School work and exams – 69%
  • Your future – 66%
  • The way you look – 56%
  • What people think of you – 52%
  • Your money – 50%
  • Your parents’ health – 50%
  • Your parent’s money – 48%
  • Friendships – 41%
  • Your health – 41%
  • War – 33%
  • Your parents are not getting on well – 32%
  • Your safety – 32%
  • Relationships – boyfriends/girlfriends – 31%
  • Climate change or environment – 30%

The full report can be downloaded at

Case Study

Koda, 17, is a student who uses Wysa, and he says: “I found out about Wysa through a friend when I was feeling very depressed and suicidal. I truly believed that there was no hope for me. I started to use the app, and having 24/7 support, no matter where I was or what time it was, has been the best thing. And I can pull out my phone and talk through any problems I might have at the time, like a panic attack.

Whenever I finish a session with Wysa, I feel more relaxed and ready for the day. I like knowing I won’t be judged or feel burdened when talking to Wysa. It’s a safe outlet for me when life is getting too harsh. There is always something available to help me, which has done a great job getting me out of my depression. I’ve become more active and productive, improving my overall mood.”

I hope you enjoyed that.

Talk soon.


Emma TaylorAbout The Author

Emma Taylor is the founder and clinical director of Digital Mentality and is currently the Children’s Clinical Lead of WYSA – the world’s leading AI app for mental well-being. She qualified as a mental health nurse 2012 and has worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She has won several awards for her work in nursing and digital innovation.

Emma is an experienced clinical innovator in digital services and the clinical safety officer for WYSA. She is currently leading the first NHS real-world study into the use of AI in mental health, funded by NIHR.

Working with Strong women, I help empower women not to give up on their goals and find true happiness within themselves. #lifestyle #womenempowerment #selfcare


  • Angela Ricardo Bethea

    Those are some wonderful points and tips to keep in mind. My kids are nearing that stage where they go to school and it’s nerve-wracking to think about. Hopefully all is well when the time comes, best be prepared for sure.

  • Monidipa Dutta

    Your article on handling back-to-school stresses is incredibly insightful and relevant, especially considering the significant impact on young people’s mental health. The expert views and practical tips shared by Emma Taylor are valuable and well-presented, offering much-needed guidance for supporting our youth. Well done! 👏🌟

  • Richard Lowe

    I remember the stress. Back when I was a teenager, the stress of going back to school was incredible. New year, new people, new teachers, and sometimes new school. Ugh. I hated it.

  • LisaLisa

    This is a great post, and it is so important to focus on a healthy way of staying stress-free as you prepare the kids for back to school. I remember we used to start preparing our kids a month before school started and it really helped us all from being stressed.

  • Rhea

    As someone who understands the importance of mental well-being, I appreciate this post’s insights and believe that following suggestions will greatly contribute to a healthier and less stressful back-to-school experience for young people. Thank you for sharing these expert tips and shedding light on the importance of addressing mental health concerns among students.

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