Headspace There in Tough Times

I STILL get butterflies in my stomach when I think of my first day at school.

The anticipation of seeing friends, and a few people I would rather not face, finding out who my teachers would be, all that homework, study and exams.

OK, perhaps they were knots in my stomach, but those nerves were not all bad; they were also about excitement and anticipation for the year ahead.

For more than three million students across Australia heading to primary and secondary school over the next few weeks there will no doubt be plenty of butterflies.

While some students seemingly cruise through the whole thing, whether they are starting school for the first time, moving to a new school, starting high school or heading back for a new class, some young people find it a very challenging time.

Moreover, let us face it; it can be tough for us as parents too.

For some children it is particularly difficult as they face extra pressures such as getting the best grades, or dealing with bullying, and others may be dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.

If you are a young person with something going on or a parent with concerns about your child, you do not have to handle things alone.

Headspace, the national youth mental health foundation, provides support for young people aged 12 to 25 who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.

General mental health and wellbeing resources can be found at headspace.org.au. For online and telephone support please visit eheadspace.org.au or call 1800 650 890, which is staffed by qualified youth mental health professionals, and available between 9am – 1am EST.

CHRIS TANTI, chief executive,

headspace.