The back-to-school season is here and that means the homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities are about to kick into high gear!  

However, mental health experts are warning you that the first few weeks back can put extra stress on everyone in the family.  

Parents are figuring out how to find the perfect balance while kids are getting acclimated to a new year and bigger responsibilities.

Back-to-school responsibilities can affect parents and kids differently. One way to help alleviate some of the stress is by creating a routine.  

This means setting a strict bedtime and establishing times to do homework, eat, and get out the door in the morning.

It’s also important to be attentive to your kids as they get older.  Mental health experts warn you not to “back off” as they start high school, but rather continue to be involved.

According to an Ohio Youth Behavioral Risk Survey, many mental illnesses start to develop during the age of 14 of 15. 

However, a majority of those illnesses go undiagnosed. That is why communication can produce positive outcomes for everyone in the family. It can also help to identify problems before they turn severe.

“Make your expectations clear to your kids academically and behaviorally.  Do less talking and more listening because that keeps the door open for communication.  You want your kids to come to you when things are going wrong,” said Cynthia Brown-Chery of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.

Parents should also look for warning signs that their kids are struggling. The signs could include isolation, withdrawal, or even acting out in class

Mental health experts want you to know it’s alright to ask for help, and you should!

They are encouraging you to reach out to other family members or friends if you are overwhelmed.  

You can call the Lucas County Recovery Hotline at 419-255-3125 or text “4hope” to 741741 for help.  These numbers are free, confidential, and available 24/7.