During this time of Coronavirus, many of us have experienced a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anxiety. All of these are considered to be normal and natural responses to any challenging situation that can often result in our minds telling us all kinds of scary stories. This can be especially true for teenagers and senior students for whom ‘what if’ stories will often predict the worst.

Adolescents are considered to be more at risk of anxiety and depression disorders which may affect their mood, thinking and behaviour. Although this is completely understandable given the current situation, any unusual behaviour that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks, may be a cause for concern. Adult carers need to remain vigilant for any signs of distress, even though your adolescent may not have any prior history of mental illness. Early intervention, diagnosis and treatment have never been more important.

If you do have any concerns relating to your teenager’s mental health, you may wish to consider using the assessment tool provided by Beyond Blue. The checklist aims to measure how your teen has been feeling over the past four weeks. After completion, the results can be printed for your records, or alternatively, provided to your medical practitioner.

Click here to access the Beyond Blue Assessment Tool. Note: For New Zealand audiences the Beyond Blue site references Australian phone numbers. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact your school for further information or seek medical or professional help.