Ask Me Anything About Student Mental Health

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

School can be stressful for so many reasons. Whether a child is just starting daycare or finishing up a university degree, the mental toll of education can be overwhelming. New schedules, peer influence, and difficulty learning can all amount to an increase in mental health challenges.

How can we check on our loved ones to make sure that they’re doing okay during the school year? Are there ways to support them without taking the burden on ourselves?

Audience Questions

Melinda Macht-Greenberg, PhD, discusses the mental health challenges that students are facing, shares subtle ways for caregivers to check on their kids’ well-being, and answers audience questions about children, adolescents, and their mental health.

  • Can you talk about what your work this summer and what you noticed in school-age kids?
  • If a condition is unrecognized or flying under the radar, how can we bring this up with providers if they may not “pass” the standards for low-level stress/trauma/depression?
  • If we are worried about our kids, how can we approach the topic with their teachers and coaches?
  • From your perspective of coaching both parents and kids, can you explain why is the return-to-school so stressful for both kids and caregivers, and what has made this year much more anxiety-inducing than years prior?
  • What are some signs that caregivers should be looking for to see if their kids are adjusting well or are having difficulties?
  • How long do we wait to talk to a provider about changes in behavior?
  • What recommendations do you have for the families and educators of students with co-occurring disabilities in marginalized communities?
  • Do you have any advice on finding an available provider that is the right fit for your child? Since there is a shortage of mental health professionals, do you have suggestions for supporting children and families until those services are available?
  • If a mental health organization is looking to support communities, what are key coping strategies we should educate the community on?
  • How can we help students with selective mutism adjust socially after being so socially isolated this past year?
  • My teen daughter has several mental health conditions and is struggling to get to school on time. As a result, she is facing consequences at school. How can I work with the school to meet her needs? She already has an IEP in place.
  • What options are available for students they are ineligible for an IEP?
  • How can we guide our children back to doing the things that they have given up on because they are hard for them?
  • How can we minimize taking on our kids’ stress and anxiety without totally dismissing it?
  • How can we check in on our kids’ mental health without coming off as nosy and intrusive? Is it even possible to do so?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Dr. Macht-Greenberg

Melinda Macht-Greenberg, PhD, is a Harvard-trained child psychologist and faculty member at Tufts University who provides expert advice to parents about children and their education. Dr. Macht-Greenberg also works with families on improving educational outcomes for their children in both private and public schools to maximize a child’s success.

Learn more about Dr. Macht-Greenberg

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Originally aired on September 30, 2021