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Addressing youth mental health as students return home for summer

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

As high school and college students wrap up their spring terms, it’s an important time to check in on their mental health. This is especially crucial for college students, who report higher rates of mental health issues than high school students, according to the 2nd Annual Student Behavioral Health Report.

The report highlights a significant increase in self-reported anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts among college students compared to high schoolers. For instance, 55% of college students reported experiencing anxiety, 41% reported depression, and 13% had suicidal thoughts. These numbers are higher than those reported by high school students.

Here are four tips to help address mental health concerns among young people:

  1. Look for Warning Signs: Watch for signs of mental or behavioral health issues such as persistent sadness, withdrawal, trouble concentrating, changes in sleep or eating habits, and substance abuse.
  2. Have Frequent Conversations: Regularly discuss mental health with your children. Use conversation starters like, “What can I do to support you better?” or “What are you most worried about right now?” to open up dialogue.
  3. Consult Your Primary Care Physician: Treat mental health concerns as seriously as physical health issues. Your primary care physician can help assess symptoms and recommend next steps.
  4. Utilize Available Resources: Take advantage of community and health plan resources, including mental health providers, virtual care options, and on-campus support services.

By following these tips, parents and adults can play a crucial role in supporting the mental health of young people. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for 24-hour, confidential support.

Categories: HealthNews