Monthly Archives September 2015

You’ve Settled in at College, Now How Do You Balance Your Emotional Health?

The Jed Foundation

Congratulations, you’ve moved into college!
Living on your own comes with a new set of responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities. College is about learning and growing, broadening your horizons, and making new friends. College can be a transformative experience. Even if you’ve had struggles in the past, you can take care of yourself and do well in college.
THE JED FOUNDATION LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/The Jed Foundation)

As the new academic year begins, how can you be sure that you are ready for the emotional challenges and opportunities of college life? Here are some tips from the JED Foundation to help you take full advantage of what’s available to you for a successful time on campus.

Know how to make the most of your education
Managing a college workload is likely to be stressful, but there are ways to lighten the emotional load while still being a good student. Make the most of the knowledgeable people around you. Use academic advisors and get to know your professors. Attend office hours, even if it’s just to introduce yourself. A good connection with a professor could turn a boring course into a favorite. Find out what is expected of you academically and use support services (e.g., academic advisors or tutors, writing and IT support, multicultural services) on campus. This will help to minimize stress and maximize focus and efficiency.

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Taking Suicide Prevention Upstream

Across the country, school districts are providing mental health awareness and suicide prevention training for teachers and school personnel. Some are mandated or encouraged to do so by state law, others are motivated by recent incidents, and some introduce this kind of education because suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24.

Teacher and parent training are key components in any plan to address teen suicide. Increasingly, however, communities are recognizing that kids need to learn about mental health, too. Social and emotional learning across the lifespan reduces risk factors and promotes protection factors for violence, substance abuse, negative health outcomes, and suicide. One way to provide universal student training is by including a mental health component in the standard wellness or health curriculum. School districts and individual schools can implement individual, more targeted programs as well.

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iFred Provides “Schools for Hope” for Kids’ Emotional Health

Kathryn Goetzke, Founder, International Foundation For Research and Education on Depression

A new school year brings a flurry of activity with the return to early morning alarm clocks, class schedules, new teachers, and a renewed connection with peers after summer break. Homework returns and many extracurricular activities are back in full swing. It can be an exciting time to see friends and share summer stories. But for some children, the school year may elicit feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and sadness. Left unrecognized, these feelings can lead to a decline in a child’s emotional wellness, relationships with family and friends, and academic performance. In some circumstances, the consequences can be devastating.

That is why children need to learn from an early age how to care for their emotional health, just as they learn academic skills, as each will help prepare them for success and happiness in life. The importance of always having hope is a vital component to mental health across age groups. Hope has been found to correspond with greater emotional and psychological well-being, enhanced personal relationships, and greater academic performance with published research suggesting hope is a skill that can be taught.

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Patient-Centered Outcomes Pave the Road to Wellness

A suicide attempt during her junior year in college brought Jennifer back home to live with her parents where she chose to participate in a mood disorder partial hospitalization program (PHP). Her treatment plan included group therapy and peer support services at the PHP and appointments with a psychiatrist. Through this coordinated mental health care, she and her support team accepted a bipolar II disorder diagnosis. Jennifer identified to her care team that her end-goal was to return to the university she had left and graduate.

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