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Navigating the Junior High Journey: Supporting Mental Health for Success

Junior high is a time of big changes and new challenges. From making new friends to tackling tougher schoolwork, it's a time of growth and discovery. But did you know that many junior high students also face mental health challenges?

Studies show that about 1 in 5 junior high students struggles with a mental health disorder, with anxiety disorders being the most common. These challenges can have a big impact on how students do in school, with those experiencing mental health issues more likely to have lower grades and miss school.

Navigating mental health in junior high is crucial for academic and emotional success. It's important to create a supportive environment where students feel safe expressing their feelings and seeking help when they need it.

Raising awareness about mental health and reducing stigma is also key. Many students may be hesitant to seek help due to fear of judgment or misunderstanding. By promoting mental health awareness and education, we can help students feel more comfortable seeking support.

Supporting mental health isn't just about addressing issues when they arise; it's also about promoting overall well-being. Encouraging healthy habits, such as regular physical activity and good nutrition, can help students manage stress and improve their mental health.

Here are 5 things you can do to help your kids with their mental health:

  1. Encourage Open Communication: Create a safe and supportive environment where kids feel comfortable expressing their feelings and talking about their struggles. Encourage them to share their worries and concerns with trusted adults, whether it's a parent, teacher, or counselor. Being able to talk openly about their emotions can help kids feel heard and supported.

  2. Promote Healthy Habits: Encourage kids to eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and prioritize sleep. These habits can have a positive impact on mental health and resilience.

  3. Teach Coping Strategies: Help kids develop healthy coping strategies for managing stress and difficult emotions. This could include mindfulness exercises, deep breathing techniques, or journaling. We have a sticker you can buy here to place on a water bottle, laptop, or phone case. We also have a free box breathing download you can save and print at the bottom of this post.

  4. Build Resiliency: Help kids develop resilience by teaching them how to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. Encourage them to view failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning rather than as obstacles. Help them develop problem-solving skills and a positive mindset that will help them navigate challenges with confidence and resilience. If you need reinforcement with that, ask your school to contact us for a support group- resiliency is one of our focus points.

  5. Provide Supportive, Safe Relationships: Foster supportive relationships with friends, family members, teachers, and other trusted adults. Strong social connections can provide kids with a sense of belonging and support, which can help protect against mental health issues. Encourage kids to build and maintain healthy relationships and to reach out for help and support when they need it.

Remember, if you're struggling with your mental health, you're not alone. There are people who care about you and want to help you succeed. Together, we can create a supportive community where all students can thrive academically and emotionally.

Don't forget to download your box breathing printable.

Box Breathing Freebie
Download • 78KB



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