jacksonville, florida – Monday is the first day of the new school year for students in Duval County.

Parents are encouraged to track their children’s mental health once they are back in the classroom.

According to clinical social worker Lori Osachy, a mental health check-in is an important part of setting your child up for success this school year.

“Keep in mind that returning kids to school is a big transition and after covid and all of last year, we want to take care of them.

Mental health refers to a child’s emotional, behavioral and mental health.

According to the CDC, signs of depression and anxiety can be seen in children as young as 3 years old, but are most common in children ages 12 to 17.

Changes in behavior are usually a sign that something is wrong, says Osachy.

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“If your child is usually talkative, spends a lot of time in their room, or becomes aggressive with siblings who are not normally If you’re standing,” said Osachie.

CDC updated its COVID-19 guidance this week. This allowed students to remain in the classroom if exposed to the virus.

Institutions are moving away from distance learning, which they claim has been shown to interfere with learning and increase mental health problems.

“Just as it’s important to take care of our bodies, we have to take care of our minds,” said Osachie.

Simple steps that can make the biggest difference to your students.

Osachy stresses the importance of not stigmatizing mental health and the importance of parents creating safe spaces for children to talk to their parents.

A quick conversation while in the car or out for a walk together is a great place to start.

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