As a parent sending their child away to college, it’s no doubt that you’ll worry about their mental health and well-being. Rest assured that Indiana Tech offers multiple services that can help your student thrive mentally and emotionally while at school!
Alongside the services provided through Tech, there is still plenty you can do from home to support your student’s mental health and well-being.
Know the Signs
Knowing the signs of a mental health illness or decline can help you be there for your student and connect them to help when they need it the most.
- Changes in sleep such as sleeping too much or not sleeping at all
- Appetite changes such as a decline or increase in appetite/eating
- Mood changes that occur rapidly
- Increased irritability
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Loss of interests in activities previously enjoyed
- Drop in functioning such as not attending class or practices
- Problems with concentrating or memory
- Loss of desire to participate in any activities
- Nervousness or increase in fear and suspicion
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or unworthiness
Once you recognize the signs…what’s next?
- Encourage them to have an evaluation done by a mental health or health care professional
- Provide them with campus counseling options
- Schedule an appointment with a walk-in clinic in your area
- Check in often and follow up after appointments
- Complete a safety plan with them
- Ask them if they are having thoughts of suicide. You can use this questionnaire to guide you.
- If your student is expressing suicidal thoughts, do not leave them alone until help is available
- Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for more resources
Emotional Safety Planning
Safety plans are one of the most effective ways to help someone when in crisis or recovering from a crisis. Safety plans are used by all mental health professionals. Although they can vary, they all contain the most important information: emotional triggers, coping skills, safe places to go, and safe people to call.
Indiana Tech offers a free copy of a safety plan that you can use to help your student maintain their mental health and prepare for a mental health crisis. For guidance completing a safety plan with your student, you can consult a professional or use this guide!
Safety Plan App
There’s also a highly respected safety plan that we promote among students. This app allows the student to have their safety plan accessible wherever they go!
Same concept, different medium!
Seize the Awkward
This initiative offers guidance on how to open the conversation of mental health with friends and family.