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Mental health matters

July 23rd, 2018

In August and September, our recent graduates will begin their first year of college.  The transition is exciting, to be sure, yet can be overwhelming to some students, even in the weeks leading up to departure.  Thoughts of making new friends, keeping up with rigorous coursework and navigating this new lifestyle without parents may lead some to feelings of depression and anxiety.  Making good decisions about sleep, nutrition, exercise and screen use – things some students view as peripheral – will have a surprisingly strong impact on success and confidence.

We do not want to raise alarm but we do want to heighten awareness by tackling an important and sobering issue today.  Colleges around the country are reporting a rise in mental health concerns among students; fortunately, many colleges are beginning to expand their counseling services.  Seeking help in times of trouble reflects strength, not weakness; it’s important for students and parents alike to recognize signs of distress, some of which may take time to surface.  

Sometimes identifying a crisis is challenging.  Because most college students are 18 or older, privacy laws in place can make it difficult for parents to access information about their student’s academic progress or difficulties they might be having.  

Each and every one of our students has gifts beyond measure.  As we share today’s article link, we hope not to dampen enthusiasm for the great life adventure that lies ahead for them.  Yet the writer’s stark discussion of suicide on college campuses and ideas about how parents can stay in the know when it comes to their child’s mental health feels enormously important.  We think you will agree.

Article referenced below from The New York Times

Published on July 2, 2018 by Jane E. Brody

This column is a plea to all current and future college students and their families to deal openly and constructively with emotional, social and academic turmoil that can sometimes have heartbreaking — and usually preventable — consequences.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death, after traffic accidents, among college students. For most, it’s their first time living away from home, away from the support and comfort usually provided by good friends and family members. The adjustment can be overwhelming for some students, especially those who don’t make friends easily or who have difficulty meeting the demands of challenging college courses.

Read more at The New York Times >>

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