Both parents and schools play a critical role in the emotional well-being of a child, especially
one suffering from a mental health challenge. However, in order for both parties to help the
child effectively, open and consistent communication is necessary.
For many children, a mental health diagnosis will not impact their school experience or
academic performance. For others, however, academic and social challenges may exacerbate
their struggles. In addition, certain treatments (medication, therapy or both) may impact a
child’s behavior and in these situations, a collaborative approach is most effective for the child.
A child spends most of their day in school. Yet, there are many aspects of their life that extend
beyond the classroom. As a parent, you have insight into your child’s struggles, doctor
appointments, behaviors and more.
When parents share information about their child’s struggles, the school can put in effort to
nourish the child’s emotional well-being and flex up or down depending on the situation. Be
sure to choose a communication style and timeline which suits your lifestyle and aligns with the
school. Clear communication with the school may help:
Generally, the more you are comfortable sharing, the greater benefit your child will feel.
Most importantly, the goal of open and consistent communication is the ability to effectively
establish a strategy, together.
Sharing personal information about your child’s challenge is not easy and building a system for
communication and collaboration can be complex. Keep in mind, that regardless of the
outcome or how the information is received at your child’s school, an established
communication protocol will benefit your child.
If you feel that your child’s school is not being as supportive as you would like, or you are
unsure of next steps, consider speaking with a mental health professional for guidance and