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As summer draws to a close and youth begin to prepare to head back to school, emotions can range from excitement to nerves. But with the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the return to school, feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety may be heightened for many.

Having some tips and strategies to help youth navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school can be helpful for planning and for everyone’s mental health and well-being.

Here are some resources for helping youth to cope with anxiety while going back to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health worked with their Youth Action Council’s Youth Engagement Initiative to create this resource with 8 effective strategies for coping with stress and anxiety during these times. View the resource on their website here.

Children’s Mental Health Ontario

Children’s Mental Health Ontario shares 6 expert tips for back to school anxiety, including making appointments with your child’s teacher or mental health expert if necessary. Read here.

Kids Help Phone

This resource from Kids Help Phone provides parents and caretakers with tips for supporting youth with back-to-school adjustments during COVID-19, including how to make a back-to-school plan. View the resource here.

PREVNet’s COVID-19 Resource Hub

In the spring, we collected a hub full of helpful links for information from supporting children’s mental health to staying active and entertained from a distance. View the hub on our website here.

The Conversation

Psychology researchers at the University of Calgary wrote How to help your child cope with the transition back to school during COVID-19 for The Conversation. The article shares tips including modelling calm behaviour, building a routine, and focusing on positive experiences.

Toronto District School Board

The Toronto District School Board has created a hub of key resources to help engage with and support children and youth around the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and well-being. The hub contains links for immediate help, general mental health and well-being, and resources for caretakers.


Unicef has shared the article Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19, that answers questions about nerves around wearing protective clothing, how youth can stay connected, and how to encourage youth to follow safety protocols. Read the article here.