Wellness is made up of many different dimensions that need to be balanced for students to thrive. These include physical and mental health, as well as social, environmental, academic, financial, and spiritual wellness. While most students will struggle with one or more of these dimensions at some point during their time at university, there are supports and resources across campus that can help students to manage these stressors. The Digital Student Experience landing page.
How to Proactively Support Your Student’s Well-Being
It is important to check-in and maintain regular contact with your student. Your student will be trying new things, making new friends, and questioning previously held beliefs as they transition into young adults. It is important that you encourage and support them in making independent decisions while also being able to advise and direct them toward resources as needed.
Making mistakes, experiencing setbacks, and facing challenging situations are a normal part of life. Supporting a growth mindset means accepting this and focusing more on how we choose to handle these challenges and learn from them. You can help your student through these challenges by validating their feelings, sharing your own experiences with difficulties, and expressing your confidence that they will get through this.
How to Reactively Support Your Student's Well-Being Once You Noticed Something is Off
Stress is a normal part of the student experience, so it is important to develop healthy strategies for managing stress. While accepting and allowing your student the space to struggle can help facilitate these learning opportunities, it is also important to notice if they are reaching a point when they may need additional support. You know your child best, so trust your instinct if you see changes that are worrisome.
If you notice concerning behaviours, it is important that you have an open and honest conversation with your student. Tell them what you have noticed. Express your concern. Be curious and ask open-ended questions about what has been going on with them. Try to maintain a non-judgmental approach as you are listening and reflect back to your student what you are hearing to make sure that you understand. Pay attention to whether your student is looking for advice or just someone to talk to. Remind your student of the resources available to them on campus.
There are a wide range of supports and resources available to assist students who may be struggling. The Digital Student Experience website contains a listing of supports across campus that might be helpful (https://www.uwo.ca/se/digital/
Resources To Support Your Student
The Health & Wellness Team at Western provides professional and confidential counselling services free of charge to students needing assistance to meet their personal, social and academic goals. These services include consultation, referral, groups and workshops, as well as brief, change-oriented psychotherapy (https://www.uwo.ca/health/psych/index.html
). To schedule an appointment, students can email firstname.lastname@example.org
requesting an appointment.
For students who are living in Residence, there is also access to Residence Counselling (https://residence.uwo.ca/experience/support_services/need_to_talk_residence_counselling/index.html
If your child would benefit from longer-term or specialized counselling services, they may benefit from seeking services in the community. Undergraduate students have access to extended health coverage through the USC Student Health Plan (https://studentbenefits.ca/my-coverage), which includes up to $750.00 that can be used toward seeing a Registered Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Social Worker. If you also have extended health coverage through your workplace, these benefit plans can be coordinated to maximize the amount of coverage available.
Worried about losing touch with your new university student? Concerned that you won’t find time to connect? With all the changes to come; you and your student may have different schedules, lifestyles, priorities, or even cities. This transition can be difficult, and we want to help you to optimize your connection regardless of these changes. Join our module to learn how!
This module is about learning how to communicate in an open and effective manner with your post-secondary student while placing emphasis on nurturing your bond together. The inclusion of guiding questions within the module will help you to reflect on what is most important to you and how you hope your relationship will change as your student embarks on this next stage of life. Topics of discussion throughout this module include the types of support you may provide, guidelines for engaging in effective communication, and strategies that may be useful for repairing your relationship when there is a communication breakdown, all of which are guided by the goal of connecting more meaningfully with your post-secondary student.
University is a time of transitioning to young adulthood for all students. Self-advocacy is a valuable skill to master new and challenging situations. Tune in to hear how you can play a role in helping them build the confidence needed to advocate for themselves.
Your student's transition to university and journey through post-secondary education is sure to be full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Tune into our module to learn about ways to effectively and positively support your student and their development during this time.
(adapted from University of Waterloo’s Coaching your university student for success website: https://uwaterloo.ca/student-success/parents/coaching)