Mrs. Anderson's Mental Health Page

Information on Anger

Anger is a secondary emotion. This means is typically felt after other emotions are initially felt because it is more comfortable for people to feel than sadness, embarrassment, guilt or whatever they first were feeling. Anger has a great typically motivates us to make changes or gives us a bunch of energy to get things done, but more often than not if unmanaged anger has quite a few negative consequences. Below I have shared some videos about anger management and resources you can use at home to help your children that display a lot of anger. One of the most positive ways to teach anger management is to model aloud for them when you are feeling angry and what you do to control and manage your own anger.

Video Links

Free Activities & Resources

Information on Anxiety

Anxiety is on the rise in schools for several reasons including the rise of social media use. Anxiety is an emotion that serves a purpose of keeping us safe and helping us to prepare for events and emergencies. For example, worrying about a test can help us study more WHEN we are managing our worry. Sometimes anxiety snowballs and becomes unmanaged for kids. Then they might freeze and refuse to try, or run away from a situation that they think is too scary. Some kids even have angry outbursts when the underlying emotion is actually anxiety. Managing anxiety takes a lot of work and practice! I have included some videos below about anxiety and coping strategies .

Video Links

Free Activities & Resources

Information on Depression

Depression in kids at the middle school level is a real thing. According to Mayo Clinic some emotional and behavioral symptoms include the following:

Emotional Symptoms--feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason,

frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters, feeling hopeless or empty, irritable or annoyed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism, extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance, trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things, ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak, frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Behavioral Symptoms-- tiredness and loss of energy,

insomnia or sleeping too much, changes in appetite — decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain, use of alcohol or drugs, agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may include frequent visits to the school nurse, social isolation, poor school performance or frequent absences from school, less attention to personal hygiene or appearance, angry outbursts, disruptive or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors, self-harm — for example, cutting, burning, or excessive piercing or tattooing, making a suicide plan or a suicide attempt

Video Links

Free Activities & Resources (depression screener)

Information on Middle School Substance Abuse

Sadly, students in the middle school have access to vaping and alcohol much more than I am comfortable with as their school counselor. Since middle school brains are still developing and growing, the use of substances is extremely dangerous and can cause permanent damage to their adolescent brains. Here are some staggering facts that National Child Safety Council prints in their literature that they send to me at school to share with my guidance students every year:

  • if you start drinking before the age of 15 you are five times more likely to become an alcoholic

  • more people die from smoking than car accidents, alcohol, AIDS, murders and fires combined

  • the 200 known poisons in cigarette smoke affect normal development and can cause life threatening diseases

  • inhalant use can KILL you the very FIRST time you try it

  • inhalants always cause brain damage EVERY time they are used

Unfortunately, the publication hasn't caught up to the use of e cigarettes or vaping tools, but more and more students are bringing these items to school and using them on school grounds or in the buses. If caught there will be consequences. Many times students are taking these devices from their parents or older relatives.


Free Activities & Resources

Information on Bullying and Harassment (online or otherwise)

Bullying is defined as actions that are unwanted, aggressive, and repeated (or have the potential to be repeated). Bullying happens when there’s a power imbalance. That power imbalance can be real or perceived. It can also be physical or social.

That is the definition of bullying on Everfi, which is a computer based learning program I use in my guidance classroom. I like this definition. I think it is important to always encourage our children to think of how they would feel in the other person's shoes. Sometimes as a parent, I get frustrated and want to tell my kids to "treat people how they are treating you" when what I always need to says is "treat people how you want to be treated" no matter the situation.

The middle school bulling and harassment form is available on the website and can be filled out any time your child feels they have been bullied or harassed for any reason. Some examples include racism and hate speech for any reason, online harassment and bullying that interferes with the student's ability to attend and participate in school, or physical aggression. If you need a physical copy of this document sent home to fill out please email or call me at the school and I can send it home with your student. Once a form is returned the incident is formally investigated by administration and/or the school counselor (me).


Free Activities & Resources

Ways to Build Resiliency

Resiliency is, according to the dictionary, the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness. This is a character trait that can be built over time and is extremely valuable not only as a middle school student but as an adult citizen conquering the world of college, social life and work. It is mostly simply a response to difficult situations that allows people to move forward with life much more quickly. It requires good self esteem, a positive outlook and often a high level of patience and tolerance with great emotional management. Does this sound difficult to achieve? It is! Not only for my middle school students, but for adults as well. However, just because this is difficult to achieve does NOT mean that we shouldn't practice trying to get better at it.


Free Activities & Resources

Parents + School Together

More information to come.


More information to come, including:

People to Call at School

Counselors in the Area

Medical Centers in the Area