The Importance of Wellness Philosophy & Services
After you’ve considered the academic and social life on a particular campus, dig deeper to understand the school’s approach to mental wellness. College students often have some big issues to deal with. Find out more about who will help them when you are far away. Take it upon yourself to examine the school’s approach to student mental health. Evaluate each college by the availability, sophistication, and specialization of mental health programs and services on campus.
Only 25 percent of parents report receiving information from their children’s current or prospective colleges about mental health services.
- Transition Support – Many schools offer programs during orientation and freshmen year to help students acclimate to college and support them during the emotional transition. Find out what programs prospective schools offer to help students thrive on campus.
- Residential Life — Residential Advisors (RAs) are often the first people to spot signs of trouble in a student, or identify a problem before it escalates. Find out more about who they are, how they were
After your student has chosen a college, consider arranging for a second, deeper level of orientation, especially if you are concerned about your child’s transition. Meet and talk with support people, RAs, student counseling and other resources about their services and availability.
- Counseling — Should your student need help, find out what resources are available for students dealing with stress or emotionally difficult situations. Does the school provide psychological counseling or support groups? What are the student/provider ratios and counseling center hours? Does the center deal primarily with day-to-day college stressors like time management, relationship issues or sleep difficulties, or is it resourced to address more serious concerns including anxiety, ADHD, depression and substance abuse.
If your child has been diagnosed with a mental health condition, has had previous emotional difficulties or has experienced problems with drugs or alcohol, it is important that you look even closer at mental health resources and campus policies when selecting a college.
Sources used in this article: The Jed Foundation Parent Survey
- 5 Things to Teach Your Teen Before College
- Four Things Every Parent Must Know About Emotional Health
- The Importance of Fit
- The Importance of Wellness Philosophy & Services
- The Right Fit Worksheet: Evaluating Emotional Fit
- The Right Fit: What to Consider
- Wellness Philosophy and Services: Questions to Ask