Back to School Prep Kit

Never Mind School Supplies, let’s get our MINDS ready for B2S!

Pathstone Mental Health’s Back-to-School Prep Tips Equip Students with the Tools They Need for a Successful Year

The start of a new school year can also be extra tough for kids and with Canadian statistics stating that 1 in every 4 children will experience a mental health struggle, up from the previous 1 in 5 statistic, demonstrating that the need for mental health support for children, youth and their families has never been greater.


To help parents and caregivers measure their readiness in identifying and supporting their child’s mental health struggles this school year, Pathstone Mental Health has put together a short quiz as well as a school prep kit full of tips to try to help with the transition to the school year ahead.


Pathstone’s B2S prep tips for the 2023/2024 school year

Exercise that Social Muscle
Particularly important if your kids haven’t been interacting as much with others. A few scheduled play dates or even just hanging out at community events etc. can help kids get more comfortable with interacting and socializing with others. Socializing is like any muscle in your body, you need to use it or you will lose it. Social development is an important element of school.

Power Off Earlier to Reduce Screen Time
Kids’ screen time tends to increase through the summer and for many, screen usage hasn’t slowed since the pandemic, but it’s time to reign it in, Clayton explains. According to the Well-Being of Ontario Students Report, almost one third of the 91% of children in grades seven through 12 who are on social media, are on it five or more hours a day. She recommends swapping out screens for in-person activities like outdoor play, baking or board games instead.

Improve Their Focus
If you’ve successfully convinced your teen or pre-teen to play a game, choose one that will build on their executive functioning skills like concentration, planning, memory and even team- building. Exercising these skills will help your child fall into step at school more easily.

Sleep is Your Superpower
Kids need plenty of it to be at their very best, so do adults for that matter. Getting to bed earlier and at around the same time every night will help make the transition back to class easier. Sleeping is important, it prepares your brain for learning. Sleep after learning helps absorb what your brain took in. Brain activity and memory improves when kids/ adults have had proper sleep.

Help Them Visualize the School Day
Talk about friends in their class, their new teacher, what they are looking forward to. What they want to pack for lunch, and even who they plan to play with during recess. Visualizing the day will help kids see themselves at school and will help them with the adjustment.

Have Some FUN!
Picking out a new backpack and school supplies can help replace some of the negativity surrounding school with positive energy and excitement.

Manage Your Own Emotions
“About 65% of our temperament is genetic”, explains Clayton. “Parents play a huge role in their child’s anxiety both biologically and environmentally, so it’s important to manage your own emotions around them. If you set a positive tone about going back to school, they’ll pick up on that.”

If you suspect your child is struggling with their mental health, reach out to Pathstone. Their Crisis & Support line operates 24/7 at 1-800-263-4944 and their in-person mental health walk-in clinics are for youth 18 and under, as well as parents and caregivers who have questions about how to best support their kids..

For locations CLICK HERE.

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