We are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis in our children, from elementary school age kids all the way to college. Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the many factors which are contributing to a decline in our children’s mental health. Modern issues like social media, phone, and technology addiction are causing tremendous problems for our youth. Pressure, the need to succeed, and a bleak economic outlook are also causing extreme mental stress for young people, even those who aren’t yet on their own. Time reports that college students are seeking mental health treatment through their campus in record breaking numbers. “Between 2009 and 2015, the number of students visiting counseling centers increased by about 30% on average,” the online magazine states, citing a 2015 report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. Shockingly, the study also found that the students who are proactively seeking mental health treatment on campus are likely to have already attempted suicide, or engaged in a self-harming behavior. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harming behavior, please reach out. Your life has value. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-8255. Experiences of mental health are not yet the majority on college campuses. However, for those college students who are having difficulty with their mental health, their experiences are intense. For example, according to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association, almost 40% of college students “said they had felt so depressed in the prior year that it was difficult for them to function,” the Time article reports. More than 60% of students said they experienced anxiety that was overwhelming.
Why collegiate mental health matters to parents of teens in recovery
Early interventions for mental health struggles in teens are proven to be effective. Teens who go to rehab for drug and alcohol addiction are at an advantage. In receiving treatment for addiction, teens can also be treated for any secondary co-occurring mental health disorders, like depression or anxiety. Additionally, teens learn the life skills necessary for managing and regulating their emotions, stress, and academic life so they can find success in their future. Even after treatment, however, a teen can still be at risk for mental health struggles once they move away to college. It is imperative for parents and teens to create a mental health plan for school, including weekly visits with an on-campus or nearby therapist, as well as recovery support through activities like local 12-step meetings. Treatment and recovery in adolescence is never a guarantee of immunity to mental health struggles later in life. Parents need to understand the reality of mental health risks in college in order to comprehensively prepare their recovering child for autonomous living on a college campus. Together, families can build a foundation for ongoing healing while walking hand in hand toward success.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our programs involve the whole family for foundation building, life cleansing change.
Call us today to start living your recovery: 662-598-4214