LARKSPUR, Calif. (KRON) – It is the first day of school at Hall Middle School in Larkspur.

Although great for many, it can bring some challenges, but health experts have some advice. Mental health experts said the data is quite clear. Students struggled during the pandemic.

There were increased rates of suicides, depression and anxiety. “Don’t underestimate the basics. Get to the basics, sleep, food, rest,” said Dr. Nicole Stelter, psychologist, Blue Shield of California.

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Dr. Stelter is director of behavioral health at Blue Shield of California. Besides emphasizing the basics to create a solid foundation for kids to thrive, she said keeping open lines of communication is critical.

“For some families, they have lost jobs, or they have lost loved ones,” said Dr. Stelter. She adds, meeting children’s needs of where they are at is also supportive.

“A lot of times, we expect kids to have similar experiences as ours, so if I hated school, I am going to have a little bit of that expectation for my own kids. You want them to talk more than have to be thinking and coming up with the answer,” said Dr. Stelter.

Parents who volunteer at Hall Middle School have different ways of helping their kids transition back into the classroom.

“We are so happy to be back, and it is great to be in the community again,” said Kristine Park, parent.

“We talk a lot, and we support one another a lot at our home,” said Neha Pyle, parent.