Parents, students, and educators are stretched thin. Especially this school year, you’re juggling an overload of responsibilities while launching back into a new version of in-person learning.
Back-to-school is stressful any year. This year? It could spark a special kind of anxiety-inducing spiral.
As students, caregivers, and educators, it’s essential to keep mental health at the forefront of your back-to-school planning. In a world of managing to-do lists, relationships, and post-COVID stress, Crisis Text Line is here to help you keep your mental health top of mind.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 mental health support to anyone in crisis. And, we’ve partnered with states, schools, and universities to provide direct access to 2.5 million middle school, high school, and college students across the country.
Anyone in crisis can text SCHOOL to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
Want to get the word out about Crisis Text Line in your community? Share this mental health school supplies guide with your school administrators, school board, teachers, and friends.
Students, you’re under a lot of stress. You don’t always have to keep your cool. It’s totally normal to need support sometimes. First on your mental health school supplies list are practical tips to process what you’re going through and ask for help when you need it.
- Make space to process. Our data shows that teens dealt more with grief in 2020 than they did in 2019. If you’ve been through loss of any kind (anything from losing a loved one to losing your sense of normalcy), it’s important to process your thoughts and feelings about what you’re going through. Whether it’s talking to a friend or reaching out to a professional, you don’t have to go through the hard stuff alone.
- Make a schedule—and stick to it. In the absence of in-person school, our data found that teens were texting us later and later into the night. Even if in-person and remote school is in flux, you can set yourself up for success by creating consistent morning and wind-down routines. Even if you find yourself back in remote learning, you can still create the boundaries of in-person school by closing your computer at the end of the school day.
- Be kind to yourself in uncomfortable social situations. If you’re heading back to in-person school for the first time in a year and a half, chances are your relationships have changed a lot since the last time you were in school in person. You deserve to have friends that make you feel good. It’s always okay to draw boundaries with people who don’t fill up your cup. Need someone to talk to about it all? Reach out to us by texting SCHOOL to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
Get out the number in your school:
The world needs more mental health advocates like you!
- Paint the town 741741 red. No, really. Download posters for your school below. Tag us in a pic on Instagram and we just might re-share!
- Check-in on your friends. Know someone who might be struggling? You don’t have to have all the answers to support them. Instead, consider letting them know they can always text SCHOOL to 741741 for free, 24/7 support.
- Put yourself first. You don’t have to struggle in silence. The best thing you can do for your community is take care of your own mental health. If you’re struggling, it’s so brave to reach out for support. Text SCHOOL to 741741 and we’ll connect you with a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
In a year and a half of global curveballs, parents have been expected to have all the answers for how to take care of their families. Parents, we see you. It’s a lot of pressure. We’ve spent the last year and a half studying the data about why teens are experiencing mental health crises so that you have the tools you need to support your kids this back-to-school season and beyond.
You don’t need a laundry list of everything that’s different to know that 2020 was a year of rapid change. Through it all, you may have wondered how all of the grief, loss, and isolation will affect your kids. We’ve been studying the trends in our data over the last year and a half. According to our data, teens are dealing with record rates of anxiety, growing rates of grief, and an increasing prevalence of eating disorders. For more information, read the in-depth insights and tips to help them cope, visit the “parents and caregivers” section of our mental health school supplies toolkit.
Getting prepared for back to school this year is about more than buying school supplies and figuring out a carpool schedule. Especially this year, it’s also about making sure you and your kids have the tools you need to take care of your mental health. Through it all, we’re here to help you make sure the kids are alright.
Share Crisis Text Line in your kids’ school
You can make sure your kids and their friends have the mental health school supplies they need.
- Distribute flyers. Download posters here and distribute them at your kids’ school.
- Talk to your school administrators. Make sure your kids’ teachers and school administrators know that Crisis Text Line is a resource for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. Let them know they should include “Text SCHOOL to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling” in all school-wide communications to students and parents.
- Take care of yourself, too. You deserve support navigating this school year. The best thing you can do for your kids is to take care of your own mental health. If you’re struggling, it’s so brave to reach out for support. Text SCHOOL to 741741 and we’ll connect you with a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
Teachers, education professionals, administrators, you’ve bent over backward to make school work for students over the last year and a half. Time and again, you’ve reinvented what it looks like to teach and how to create an environment for students to learn. Especially over the last year, you’ve stretched beyond your role—showing up to support kids in the classroom and beyond.
Over the last year and half, you’ve seen what kids are up against. Your students have lost loved ones. Their parents have lost jobs. They’ve hustled to keep up with academics in new environments. And, they’ve navigated new and challenging relationships without the structure of the usual school day.
At Crisis Text Line, we’ve seen it too. We analyzed the data about how teens felt in 2020 and found the following:
- Teens are grieving. Grief increased the most as an issue among our teen texters.
- Anxiety is on the rise. Anxiety was a top issue for teens who texted in during 2020. And, the words “ ‘covid’, ‘quarantine’, ‘assignments’, ‘virus’, ‘overthink’, ‘schoolwork’, and ‘awake’ were new trending words in conversations about anxiety in 2020.
- Eating disorders are top of mind. Following a trend we saw in our overall texter population, conversations about eating disorders increased among our teen texters, too. This correlates with disruptions to teens daily routines, social lives, and independence—all things that could trigger disordered eating habits if someone is already predisposed.
- Teen texters are night owls. Without the structure of the regular school day, teens began texting us later and later into the night. As we look to shifting schedules again this year—and the uncertainty of fully in-person schedules—it could be useful to have conversations with your students about healthy sleep habits and creating routines.
You don’t need to have all the answers for your students. Sometimes it’s enough to simply point them in the direction of support. You can help your students be prepared to cope with the emotional rollercoaster of school in COVID by making sure they have 741741 at their fingertips. Make sure your students know they can text SCHOOL to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor. We’ll be there for them 24/7.
Share Crisis Text Line at your school
- Distribute flyers. Download posters here to distribute at your school.
- Add 741741 to your syllabus and classroom. Whether or not you’re in person this year, there are so many ways you can get the number in front of your students. Try giving it a permanent home on your whiteboard. Or, add our number to the top of all your syllabi.
- Take care of yourself, too. You deserve the same support you want your students to have. If you’re having trouble coping this year and need someone to talk to, we’re here for you too. Text SCHOOL to 741741 and we’ll be there to listen.
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