A Parent’s Guide
You Can Help
The transition to college is challenging not only for students but also for parents and family members that care about their well-being. Many college students struggle with mental health symptoms or even thoughts of suicide. Parents should take any statements related to suicide seriously and learn these warning signs. Below are tips for broaching the topic of mental health with your child:
- Don’t be afraid to initiate a direct conversation.
- Listen to the student calmly and nonjudgmentally.
- If possible, speak with the student regularly.
- Express your love, support, and openness.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the student directly if they are considering ending their life.
- Become familiar with campus resources in order to suggest these options.
- If you notice the student seems resistant to talk with you, consider suggesting other individuals and resources (resident advisor/director, counselor, support groups, etc.).
- Find out when to complete a CARES report.
- Encourage the student to get involved in groups on campus that might increase social connection.
- Thank the student for opening up to you and express, “I’m always here for you.”