Attending college can be a stressful experience for many young adults. This makes it all the more important to ensure proper attention to mental health through resources such as professional counseling. However, parents can also play a significant role in that regard, which is why understanding the following five points can be invaluable.
Counseling Centers in College Don’t Always Meet Requirements
The associate director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Service Brett E. Scofield, Ph.D., at Penn State University, explains how the demand for college counseling services has been increasing over the past few decades. The issue is that the treatment capacity at most colleges doesn’t cover demand. That’s why it’s a good idea for parents to investigate their children’s colleges of interest and find out what mental health services are made available.
Open the Doors to Communication
Just because they’re all grown up and off to their preferred colleges doesn’t mean that kids, now young adults, don’t care about their parent’s options anymore. Most young adults still require and appreciate the reassurance that their parents can offer. It’s important to keep lines of communication open, be there when your child needs to talk things out, listen, and advise in a way that helps them navigate their own problems and make their own decisions.
Let Young Adults Advocate for Themselves
Once they’re in college, it’s good to start letting kids take over some of the things parents used to handle for them, such as scheduling dentist and doctor’s appointments. When it comes to matters of mental health, young adults might need a bit of encouragement to remove any stigma or embarrassment of making an appointment with a counselor. It’s good to check if their school offers the Let’s Talk resource that lets kids drop in and talk about anything from exam-related stress to arguments with friends, and more.
Offer Support and Grow Closer
It’s good for parents to remember their college experiences and understand what their kids are going through. Besides being an academic mission, it’s also a time of self-discovery, personal development, and building new relationships. This doesn’t necessarily lead to trouble but mental health counselors are there to implement risk-reduction models to talk through problems and reinforce safe behavior.
Colleges Take Mental Health Seriously
Struggles are a normal part of life and going through them with guidance and support from counselors and parents helps young adults learn from each pitfall and emerge stronger. In today’s age, mental health is a topic that’s more openly talked about than ever before, especially among the younger generations and colleges are taking mental health quite seriously.