What if my child is anxious about school and gets angry, breaks down, or just won’t get out of bed?

You can ask for help from the school and the district.

A child who is struggling with anxiety, depression or other mental health condition may need an evaluation and specialized supports and accommodations to be able to participate regularly in school. If a child is showing signs of anxiety that is getting in the way of going to school, it is important to try to get help as early as you can.

One of the types of disabilities that is covered under special education law is “emotional or behavioral disability”, and that can include anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions.

Families can ask the school to consider doing an evaluation to see if the child needs extra supports through an IEP or 504 plan (see OEO's Parent Guide on Protecting the Rights of Students with Disabilities).

Families may also be able to find help from a private mental health counselor who can partner with the school and family to support the child in getting to school. Each county has community mental health services, and for youth who need intensive mental health services, there may be “wraparound” services and supports that can help. (learn more about WISe – Wraparound with Intensive Services for Medicaid-eligible youth at the Health Care Authority website, here: https://www.hca.wa.gov/health-care-services-supports/behavioral-health-recovery/wraparound-intensive-services-wise.