Back to Campus: Managing Student Mental Health and Stress
5 Tips for Managing Student Mental Health & Stress
The start of the school year can be an exciting time, but also a stressful time for students. Stress can be manifested by coursework, new experiences, social pressures, alcohol and drugs, etc.
Long-term stress or short bouts of overwhelming stress can affect a student’s physical health, but more often, mental health, and can be the source of anxiety or clinical depression.
As students make their way back to campus – it’s essential to promote, and remind them of the available, on-campus mental health resources.
Unfortunately, if students aren’t provided, or aware of, your mental wellness resources – it may lead to them taking extreme measures. According to a recent study by the CDC, the second leading cause of death for college students in the United States is suicide. Suicide can be seen as an escape for students feeling a wide variety of stressors on campus, including feelings of rejection, hurt, anger or guilt.
Here are 5 tips that can help you make your campus even safer this upcoming school year:
- Provide and promote your on-campus wellness resources for your students – remind students regularly throughout the year that these resources are available
- Promote open and honest conversations
- Reduce the stigma of mental illness on your campus
- Educate your students, faculty and staff on student mental health and the warning signs of mental illness
- Increase the number of specially trained staff to combat mental illness
In fact, a report by the National Council on Disability found that students feel that better equipping staff and school officials with the tools and training to identify when a student is having a hard time coping, and subsequently guide them to resources available on campus would make a tremendous difference.
College is a time for students to define themselves, not to be bogged down by stress – it’s critical to provide them with the tools to be able to do that.
Above all, reviewing your current mental health resources with the appropriate staff never hurts – and can change your students’ lives.
The SafeColleges Training System offers a Youth Suicide: Awareness and Prevention course for campus employees, which provides information from experts that will help staff know the common risk factors to watch for as well as successful strategies to combat youth suicide on campus.