College Students’ Mental Health Issues – What You Can Do as a Parent
Parents are often found struggling when it comes to addressing the needs of their college-going child, both mentally and academically. When students are left off to face mental health challenges, parents at times feel devastated and uncertain about where to start from. Awareness and treatment are important components to prevent the issue that will most likely result in the college kid falling behind in classes, dropping out, or going through extreme emotional stress.
Amongst the common issues found are anxiety disorders, sadness, irritation, changing sleeping patterns, loss of appetite, depression, substance abuse, psychotic incidents, and relationship issues. Let’s not forget other mental health troubles that can aggravate the condition. To make things easier for you, here are a few guidelines that will you help if your child is one of them who face challenges in their college life.
Prepare Your Child for the Unforeseen
There is a high possibility that either your child or your child’s friends or roommates are going through some mental health problems. Parents should make sure that their children are aware of mental health and should let them know that if they are one of them, they will go through this together. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure that students feel free to approach you when are dealing with some problems without having the fear of being judged.
Stay Connected With Them
Parents should make for their children to have frequent conversations with them. Try listening to their voice or having a face-to-face conversation instead of just texts or emails as it is easier to notice what is bothering them in this way. Check in with your friends and family frequently to talk about your child’s changing behavior.
Plan Directed About Mental Health
Everyone, especially those who have been through a mental health crisis, should have a plan with themselves for times when things get too much to handle. The plan will help your child book an appointment when needed. Get an appointment with the campus counselor to understand the type of services available. If your child already seeing one, ensure that they attend their appointments while being away.
Motivate Them to Have Healthy Habits
One should never overlook the importance of having a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and daily exercise because they contribute to mental health altogether. If someone is living away from or struggling with stressful issues, it gets easier to ignore good sleeping and eating along with exercise.
Don’t start lecturing your children about eating vegetables. Ask them their feelings when they wake up in the morning at the same time every day or when they eat well. This will make stay connected to self-care with being emotionally stable.
Learn to Let Go of Some Mistakes
No one is perfect. People make mistakes. Let your child know that is okay to make mistakes and you will continue supporting them, at any cost. The best thing that could happen after making a mistake is to learn from it. Use that as a lesson for you.
When Things Get Too Much
It is important to understand when to take a break from stressful news. Ask your child how they feel after hearing the news. Find out how much more can they take in. It gets easier to work on self-care when required. When on a break, engage yourself in any activity. Binge-watch movies, read books, or just hang out with friends.
Maintain a Schedule When Studying Away From Home
Make a habit of your children to have a schedule on when to wake up and get ready, do the assignment in a different area, and set boundaries between work time and free time. When children study away from home, their schedule might differ when at home because all their work gets shifted to a laptop. Your children should have a life outside the college campus, to get away from the screen by going on long walks or doing something other than studying.
These were just a few tips that can give you an idea of what to do when faced with a similar situation. Stay connected with your child to know what happens with them in their college life so that it does not get too late to help your struggling child.
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