Health and wellbeing in high school

Encourage your child to keep a balance in their high school life.

Encourage your child to keep a balance in their high school life. They still need time to relax, have fun and spend time with friends and family. They also need healthy food, exercise and a good night’s sleep.

Responding to the pandemic

The past 2 years have brought a lot of change and disruption for everyone, including children. Supporting your child through this change can help them settle into high school

How your child might be feeling…

Your child may feel excited or happy about starting high school.

Or, they may feel nervous or frustrated about all the changes.

It’s important to remember that all of these feelings are normal and your child may react differently to others.

What you can do to help support your child

  • Monitor the media your child is watching.

  • Talk to your child about their understanding of the situation and correct misunderstandings or confusion.

  • Include your child in making plans for the future.

  • Support your child to stay connected to friends.

  • Keep to your regular routines and activities as much as possible.

Thinking about the future

Change can be stressful and the pandemic has only added to the uncertainty and challenges of high school. Your child might feel worried about what will happen this year, as well as what lies ahead in 2022 and beyond. These emotions, while understandable, can be distracting and draining. That’s why it’s important to have some strategies to manage their worries, re-focus their thinking and ensure they’re looking after themselves.

For more information, visit our Wellbeing section for articles and advice to help manage common health and wellbeing issues your child may face at school and at home.

Share these tips with your child and remind them that you’re here to help

Being balanced and compassionate in your thinking – It’s important to be kind and realistic in your thinking. Speak to yourself as you would if you were talking with a good friend.

Keeping connected – In challenging times, we’re better together so stay in touch with friends and family, look out for those around you and keep connected. Make time to reach out to people who make you feel good and are there to help.

Taking back some control – Identify things in your life that you are in control of, make a ‘to-do’ list of what you are going to complete and check them off when you’re done.

Accepting that which you’re unable to change – Accepting that there are things beyond your control and choosing to be comfortable with that fact is likely to bring greater peace of mind and use less energy than fighting something you can’t change.

Making healthy choices – Stay active, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eat well and keep hydrated. Remember that you’re still in control of your own body and your own path.

Supporting your child

Anti-bullying

All NSW public schools actively prevent student bullying and encourage appropriate behaviour by helping students build social skills and respect for others.

Schools develop their own anti-bullying plan which includes strategies to reduce bullying behaviour, cyberbullying or harassment, and school staff are trained to respond to these situations. Contact the school for a copy of your school’s anti-bullying plan or to report a concern.

For more information, visit our anti-bullying section for evidence-based research to support educators, parents and carers, and students to identify, prevent, and respond effectively to student bullying behaviours.

Support services and counselling

All NSW public schools have access to psychological expertise through the school counselling service. Secondary schools have staff dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students. Each school has access to school counsellors or school psychologists, and many have a Student Support Officer and a Head Teacher Wellbeing.

They can help students who are having difficulties at school or home and connect families with services outside of school if needed. You may make an appointment to access the school’s counselling or psychology services by contacting the school.

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