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By Kamiesha Cooper
My first experience with depression was when I was 5 years old, growing up in Alabama.
Editor in Chief, Care for Your Mind
June is Pride Month, a time when we celebrate the creative, intellectual, and cultural contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to our society, while we also protest the inequalities and unfair treatment that LGBT+ people continue to face in modern times.
John MacPhee, MBA, MPH
Executive Director & CEO, JED
Over the last few years, there’s been a growing focus on the importance of strengthening resiliency and developing healthy coping mechanisms among teenagers, college students, and young adults. We want young people to “press pause.”
Victor Schwartz, MD, Chief Medical Officer
The Jed Foundation (JED)
We know that when young people are in distress they commonly turn to friends for help and support. We decided to try to figure out how to use this idea more effectively.
Victor Schwartz, MD, Medical Director, The Jed Foundation
In an October 2015 segment of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver did a stunningly effective report on the tragic state of mental health services and care in the US. While it seems we only talk about mental health care as a national policy issue after mass shootings – which, as Oliver pointed out, is exactly the wrong time and context for this discussion – we have a national tragedy around mental health care. Given that we only recently commemorated World Mental Health Day, it behooves us to take a few moments to consider the problem and what we might do about it, apart from the debate around gun violence and mental health.
How colleges and universities can better support students with behavioral health issues
Nance Roy, Ed.D.
Clinical Director, The Jed Foundation
The need for campus-based support for students with behavioral health conditions is clear. According to NAMI, nearly 73 percent of students living with a mental health condition experienced a mental health crisis on campus. Yet, 35 percent of those students reported that their college did not know about their crisis. Overall, 40 percent of students with diagnosable mental health conditions did not seek help.
Colleges can best meet students’ needs by enhancing institutional awareness and response to students who are struggling. While most colleges and universities have behavioral health services to support students, often not everyone on campus is aware of the resources. Even the best of programs and services can’t be effective if they remain largely unknown and not well utilized.
Mental Health Advocate, JED Foundation
Student, George Washington University
Like many students, I have dreamed about this week for years.
Packing up my car to the brim, wrapping up my childhood experiences into a scrappy cardboard box. Feeling a mixture of ecstasy and sadness as I smoosh the imprint of my face into the backseat window, I say goodbye to my hometown, and proceed to the next chapter of my life. But leaving for freshman year of college—contrary to what my movie-convinced middle school self believed—is not that “picture perfect.”
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.
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.