Mental illness is common, and its severity ranges from subclinical to severe, where the condition affects daily social and academic functioning. Because of its ubiquity, it is necessary that school nurses have an enhanced understanding of some of the mental health conditions that children and adolescents may be facing. As will be discussed, some mental health concerns present with somatic symptoms that may bring the student into the school nurse's office. If the nurse identifies mental health symptoms, he or she may be able to intervene, provide support, and direct the student for further management if necessary. This article will focus on anxiety in general before focusing on specific anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder. We will begin by defining these conditions and then move into discussing potential present-day stressors, such as fear and anxiety associated with the recent coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, and screening tools before closing with some suggestions for practice and a case wrap-up.
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