With September rapidly approaching, parents, caregivers, teachers, and students are all preparing to return to school. While back-to-school can be an exciting time for some, others may be feeling anxious, fearful, stressed, or uncertain about the new school year.  

Here is a list of tools and resources that we think share helpful information about caring for your mental health and well-being as we transition into a new school year. These materials can help facilitate conversations between adults and young people, and: 

  • Help develop coping skills 
  • Promote open communication 
  • Increase mental health literacy 
  • Share knowledge of how to identify potential mental health challenges
  • Develop an understanding of the emotions others may face when returning to school this fall 

Please note that while the resources listed are valuable tools, they are not intended for crisis intervention. If you or a loved one are in need and this is an emergency, please call 9-1-1. If it is not an emergency, but you do need someone to talk to, visit https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/get-help/ for a list of phone, text, and online crisis lines offered in over 140 languages.

FamilySmart has created helpful tools for families and adults who care for children with mental health challenges that may be struggling with attending school. These tools are separated into three age groups: 

Anxiety Canada has a wide variety of helpful guides suitable for a range of ages. Resources available include strategies for handling anxiety about test-taking, perfectionism, OCD, social situations, and more. 

Foundry BC has articles for youth who may be seeking additional support in their return to school: 

Kelty Mental Health has gathered a list of resources for educators and counsellors to teach students mental health literacy: 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has created a guide to help adults navigate conversations on mental health and well-being with young people in their lives:

Jack.org and the Born This Way Foundation have created a comprehensive resource for young people. “Be There” helps youth and young adults learn how to identify and discuss mental health challenges and assist their peers in accessing mental health resources:

Kids Help Phone offers a list of resources for children and youth returning to school this fall. These wellness resources are for when you’re struggling with your mental health; experiencing anxiety about returning to school due to COVID-19; preparing for back to school while on a tight budget; changing schools; and more: 

Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) has a variety of articles on supporting students’ mental health during the return to school, including tips that can be used throughout the remainder of the summer: 

The BC Schizophrenia Society’s Kids and Teens in Control Programs provide a safe space to learn about mental illness, self-care, and coping skills, and talk with like-minded peers. The programs and drop-in groups are offered online to children and youth aged 8-18 who have a family member with a mental illness. To learn more, visit BCSS Youth.