Focus on mental health is crucial as many Midstate students face anxiety

Health

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)– As many students prepare to return to the classroom full-time, experts say the focus on mental health is critical.

“Multiple teenagers have had concerns about both being at home but also the anticipation of going back to school and having another change in their lives,” Dr. Deborah Raubenstine, a pediatrician at Carlisle Pediatric Associates said.

Dr. Raubenstine says a lot of factors can impact a child’s mental health.

“I’ve had multiple children, teenagers, who were straight-A students who went home and were put online and had difficulty with it and actually failed classes and there are low self-esteem problems that are going on also,” Dr. Raubenstine said.

There are several warning signs parents and educators should be on the lookout for.

“Sometimes anxiety manifests with physical complaints so maybe belly aches, headaches, stomach aches, you might see kids more isolated you might see kids who are a little more hyperactive or agitated or irritable,” Dr. Jeffrey Selman, Vice President of Clinical Services at First Children Services said.

Experts say open lines of communication and a routine are important in reducing anxiety.

“The stronger our connection is with them, the more honest and open they will be about where they are and what they need,” Rachel Vucic, child and teen therapist at WellSpan Philhaven said.

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