Your child is going away to college. It’s a big life change. For most kids, college marks the first time they’re off on their own, away from any kind of adult supervision and free to make their own choices.
Many students struggle with the transition. Mental health issues often emerge for the first time during the college years, with the early 20s being the average age of onset. These issues may have already existed in high school or earlier, and are exacerbated by the pressures of college life.
According to research by the American Psychological Association, 1 in 3 college freshmen around the world report a mental health disorder.
Mental health issues on campus have escalated in the last seven years. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of students visiting counseling centers increased by about 30 percent on average, according to a recent American College Health Association survey.
In 2017, nearly 40 percent of college students said they had felt so depressed in the prior year that it was difficult for them to function, and 61 percent of students said they had felt overwhelming anxiety in the same time period.
Mental health is a big reason why students take formal leave from college, so early intervention is a priority.
What can parents do to help their college student navigate the journey? Try these five tips:
Adjusting to college life can be difficult, but with the right information and support, your child can flourish. As parents, if you are aware of struggles early on, you can link your child with support on campus, such as advisors, tutors and therapists.
If you believe your college kid has a problem with alcohol, an eating disorder or any other issue, get them help. Early intervention is important to the recovery process.
Find support at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.
Never a reason: talking with your teen about depression
Binge drinking taken to a new level on college campuses
Your teen’s brain has some growing up to do
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.