College marks a new beginning in a child’s life – for many it’s the first tentative steps away from the safety of their home. It is when a child becomes a young adult, and when they may quickly become aware that they are truly “on their own” for the first time.
With high school friends left behind, new social circles must be built from the ground up, roommate relations navigated and daily schedules created and managed with little – or no – supervision. For some, this transition is smooth. For others, it’s characterized by harsh, alternating states of enthusiasm, distress and confusion. It’s a vulnerable time that can take a toll on their mental health.
For many, the first signs and symptoms of mental health problems emerge during the college years. Nearly half of college students have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, while one-third have seriously considered suicide, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health’s (CCMH) 2016 Annual Report.
While college students are seeking psychological help at a record-setting rate, the high demand for treatment services leaves college counseling centers struggling to meet them.
It can be a frightening time for both students and parents. That’s why it’s so crucial for parents to have a plan before a mental health problem or crisis emerges when your child is away at school. Here are a few tips:
Tips like those provided here for supporting your college student’s mental health can help ease the process, but expressing your unconditional and steady love is the utmost most important thing you can provide for your child.