There’s a whole checklist of things that teens need to do before they go off to college, but with teens more stressed out, anxious and depressed than ever, they should also be prepared for the mental health challenges they’ll face as well.
As US News reports, a group of over two hundred pediatricians and psychiatrists were polled, and they’ve seen teens having more problems with their mental health in the last five years. According to the statistics gathered, 86% of them felt that teens are dealing with more anxiety and stress, 81% of the therapists said they were treating more anxiety problems with teens, and 70% of them were dealing with teens grappling with depression and bipolar disorder.
But out of the parents polled for this survey, only 17% of them have thought about the mental health services at the colleges they were thinking about sending their kids to.
As doctors have pointed out to US News, this is a crucial age where brains are developing into adulthood, and as one explains, “From an epidemiological perspective, this is the average age that most psychiatric symptoms declare themselves or get bad enough that people can’t ignore them anymore.” And many teens don’t realize that mental health care can be an ongoing deal.
As another doctor explains, some adolescents get mental health help before they go off to college, “But when they go to college, the treatment often disappears because there hasn’t been a lot of thought about how to transition their care.”
So in advising parents, one source explains, “If there is a history of mental health concerns, you need to be thoughtful how that care will continue in a college setting…People have this idea that college is a new lease, but there isn’t a well-thought plan for how care will be given and how a crisis if it develops, will be managed. This is an important piece for your child’s success in college.”