Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

I STILL get but­ter­flies in my stom­ach when I think of my first day at school.

The an­tic­i­pa­tion of see­ing friends, and a few peo­ple I would rather not face, find­ing out who my teach­ers would be, all that home­work, study and ex­ams.

OK, per­haps they were knots in my stom­ach, but those nerves were not all bad; they were also about ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion for the year ahead.

For more than three mil­lion stu­dents across Aus­tralia head­ing to pri­mary and sec­ondary school over the next few weeks there will no doubt be plenty of but­ter­flies.

While some stu­dents seem­ingly cruise through the whole thing, whether they are start­ing school for the first time, mov­ing to a new school, start­ing high school or head­ing back for a new class, some young peo­ple find it a very chal­leng­ing time.

More­over, let us face it; it can be tough for us as par­ents too.

For some chil­dren it is par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult as they face ex­tra pres­sures such as get­ting the best grades, or deal­ing with bul­ly­ing, and oth­ers may be deal­ing with men­tal health is­sues such as anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion.

If you are a young per­son with some­thing go­ing on or a par­ent with con­cerns about your child, you do not have to han­dle things alone.

Headspace, the na­tional youth men­tal health foun­da­tion, pro­vides sup­port for young peo­ple aged 12 to 25 who are strug­gling with their men­tal well­be­ing.

Gen­eral men­tal health and well­be­ing re­sources can be found at For on­line and tele­phone sup­port please visit or call 1800 650 890, which is staffed by qual­i­fied youth men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, and avail­able be­tween 9am - 1am EST.

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