As more and more children struggle with anxiety, school nurses are in a unique position to aid overloaded school clinicians and fill in the gaps by extending support to students who need it. Nurses often know exactly who those struggling students are, since anxiety's calling cards include physical ailments like headache and stomachache. Why not enlist their help in a more intentional way?
“There’s something nurturing and comforting about the school nurse,” says Golda Ginsburg, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut who has studied anxiety in young people for more than 20 years and is now developing simple tools for nurses to use with anxious students. “Though there are many students who love the school clinicians, there is another group that doesn’t want to see the counselor. A school nurse can do something under the radar, and for those students not dealing with severe issues, a school nurse can do some preventative work.”