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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Transition Year, as well as the Jed Foundation, the following information is important to consider when looking at colleges, particularly if a student has mental health concerns:
- The academic and social fit of the school
- Transition supports for students
- Services offered at the counseling center: individual counseling (limited or unlimited), group therapy, referrals, and medication management.
- Emergency services and procedures available for students in crisis (Be aware that not all schools offer counseling services after hours and that if the center is closed, the student will be transported to the nearest psychiatric emergency department.)
- Whether residential life staff are trained to identify and help students who need mental health assistance
- Types of accommodations available through the office of Student Disabilities and whether professors are notified of just the accommodations needed or if additional information is shared with them
- Mental health services that are available in the community and the transportation that is available to get there
- Whether the family’s insurance will cover mental health services in the area (If not, it may be worth purchasing the insurance offered by the college, even if the family has their own health insurance.)
- Who a parent would call if they had concerns about their child, and what type of information would the school be able to share with the parent (It’s quite a transition for a parent not to have full access to information about their child when they go away to college.)
Click on the Links Below to Learn More>>>
Choose a school and make the transition into college with emotional wellness in mind. “College Wiki” - learn about academic supports, social life, transition supports and mental health resources at schools. Download a guide for parents and the “Right Fit Worksheet” for students that includes factors to consider regarding mental health resources on campus.
Focuses on preventing suicide and protecting the mental health of college students, offers mental health information and resources for parents (including a Parent Guide), students, campus professionals and supporters. It also sponsors two other online resources: ULifeline and Half Of Us
A site for college students to find help for themselves or others. Campus Resources link to information about college’s primary resources for help. Factual information on mental health, self-screening tools, personal stories, polls, link to “Ask The Experts” section where students can post questions that can be answered by experts.
Video testimonials from celebrities and students who share their stories about mental health. Information on staying healthy, dealing with mental health issues, and helping a friend. Self-assessment screening tools, hotline numbers, and a “Get Help Now” section that links to help at specific colleges.
Develops and supports student-run chapters on college campuses using the student voice to educate, advocate, and reduce stigma. Look for Active Minds Chapters on College Campuses.
National Alliance on Mental Illness offers many resources. Some colleges have “NAMI on Campus”. Great list of scholarship opportunities for students with disabilities as well as local support groups for family members of individuals who have a mental health diagnosis.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This guide helps students be proactive in understanding what constitutes substance abuse, learn how to keep their own habits in check, and spot problems in themselves or others with a wealth of resources.
This guide serves as a resource for college students who need (or think they might need) help. Leveraging the expertise of several mental health and counseling experts, it explores the various mental health concerns that today’s college students face and discusses where and how students can find help.
This comprehensive guide discusses and details a number of mental health issues, including information on how they impact academic performance and where to find help.
We Connect Now is dedicated to uniting people interested in rights and issues affecting people with disabilities, with particular emphasis on college students and access to higher education and employment issues. Scholarship list.