Adjusting to university life often involves many changes and stressors. Students often appreciate your support and acknowledgement of their successes.
Consider the following suggestions:
1. Observe for Potential Signs of Concern
- loss of interest or energy
- sudden drop in grades
- missed assignments
- unusual behavior
- aggressiveness or irritability
- emotional outbursts or crying
- excessive weight gain or loss
- lack of personal hygiene.
- Make time to talk.
- Be patient and give your undivided attention.
- Let them talk with minimal interruption.
- Mention that you have noticed changes in him/her, and that you want to help.
- Validate their concerns rather than focusing on solutions.
- Your child may have lost the ability to recognize their positive attributes.
- You can reaffirm; for example "You are a sensitive person who cares for others."
- Inquire about how you may help.
- Don't be offended if the reply is "Leave me alone".
- Make conversations about mental health difficulties easy and open.
- Asking about what helps when things are tough.
- Encourage your child to seek resources available at the university.
- Encourage him or her to contact the service directly to arrange an appointment.