School anxiety is not uncommon especially during a pandemic and all the uncertainty around us. Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels
School anxiety is not uncommon especially during a pandemic and all the uncertainty around us. Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Sadag talks back-to-school stress and anxiety

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Feb 4, 2021

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School anxiety is not uncommon,especially during a pandemic and all the uncertainty around us

As the start of the new academic calendar and school year draws closer, some parents are bound to hear “I don’t want to go to school” or “do I have to go to school?”

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) – starting school, going to a new grade, bullying, it’s matric – are reasons for some children and teens being anxious about going back to school.

This year, the back-to-school anxiety may look and feel a tad different as we trudge through a global pandemic that shows no signs of relenting any time soon.

“The opening of schools has been postponed a number of times, and different schools are using different models to deal with the pandemic. In 2020, an unprecedented number of learners worldwide were unable to attend school. Some schools offered online teaching, some used social media platforms like WhatsApp, others simply did not have the infrastructure and were reliant on parents to home school their children,” Sadag says.

“While we, as parents and teachers, are navigating the stresses and strains of a Covid-19 world, we need to be able to recognise the symptoms of fear, stress and anxiety in our children – and effectively address them.”

If you're a parent or a teacher, don't miss Sadag’s Facebook Friday free online Q&A. You can join the afternoon chat between 1pm – 2pm with clinical psychologist Candice Cowen and educational psychologist Lucy Robinson in the evening between 7pm – 8pm. The topic is ‘How to minimise back-to-school stress and anxiety during Covid-19’.

Sadag provides free telephonic counselling, support, information and nationwide referrals to support groups, psychologists, psychiatrists, clinics and more. To speak to a counsellor, call 0800 21 22 23 or SMS 31393 (7 days a week, 365 days a year).

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