Starting School and Your Mental Health

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Feb 7, 2022

An overview of school and mental health

While a lot of progress has been made, mental health is often overlooked, and there is still a stigma attached to mental illness among young people. You may feel afraid to speak up about your struggles or confused about why you’re feeling anxious or depressed. Sometimes, we will even battle to put a name to the emotions we’re experiencing or going through. Online peer counseling is one avenue that can help you understand your mental health better and find ways of coping, both in and out of school.

Counselors like our very own Vanessa could be the listening ear you need, thanks to her educational knowledge as well as her experience in coping with anxiety, depression, bullying, trauma, and more. We share her ethos of ensuring no one ever feels alone.

Why your mental health got worse: Added academic pressure

Stress in an academic environment can spiral if you don’t have access to the right interventions. Online peer counseling or traditional therapy could help, whether it’s talking through a class subject you’re battling to master or the pressure to make the A-team in sport. Comparing ourselves to classmates, teammates and peers can also add more stress.It could be an internalized and self-inflicted narrative or seemingly harmless comments that may strike an emotional chord. Don’t diminish the impact these behaviors can have on your mental health, help is exactly where you are.

How peer counseling can help: Talk through your anxiety & experiences

No one can tell you it’s wrong to feel upset or that your mental health is getting worse as your feelings are valid — speaking to a Peer Collective counselor of your choice will make you realize this. Through active listening and sharing their first-hand experiences, our counselors will help you unpack your anxiety and identify its cause. This happens all at your own pace and will help you find ways to manage better and make life at school a bit easier.

Why your mental health got worse: Unfamiliar social expectations

Recent years have seen many students like yourself removed from what was a familiar school environment and routine. We’ve been forced to emulate something similar at home, no thanks to COVID. Going back to school may have you experiencing:

  • Fear about being in a more crowded environment, due to the risks of contracting illnesses or because it’s been a while since you’ve been around large groups of people in confined spaces
  • Anxiety about re-integrating into a traditional school landscape and the added changes due to pandemic or other government restrictions
  • Anxiety about seeing your friends (and foes) again, after all it’s been a while since you interacted at school, so apprehension about social situations is totally understandable

How peer counseling can help: Coping tools to help in school environments

If you feel your self-esteem has taken a bit of a knock and you’re struggling to integrate into your school environment, that’s okay. Peer Collective’s counselors can help you identify your strengths and unique attributes so you can embrace them and apply them in the situations that matter most. Want to find tools that help you cope in school environments if these are adding to your anxiety? Our team will help you find a way that works best for you, whether it’s meditation, grounding exercises, journalling or even NPR!

You don’t have to figure this out alone but you alone are also the only one who can make the choice to seek help to get you back to a place of stability and confidence. Book your first free 30-minute session, it’ll be the best recess break you ever take!


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