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College student mental health

A number of mental health conditions first exhibit symptoms during late adolescence or early adulthood—in other words, during the college years. Students, who may be feeling stressed by the demands of classes or new stages of independence, might show signs of depression, anxiety, or general feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. In most cases, these stresses are temporary, but they can be signs of more serious conditions.

Early intervention may prevent or decrease the severity of mental health issues, and parents are often the first to notice significant changes in their son’s or daughter’s behavior. Among the changes to watch for are the following:

  • Expressions of significant sadness or hopelessness
  • Inability to cope with normal daily problems
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Confused thinking or unusual fears
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, and activities
  • Significant tiredness or inability to sleep
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Loss of appetite or excessive eating; hiding eating patterns from others
  • Expressions of anger, hostility, or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

If you notice these symptoms or other behaviors that seem significantly different from your student’s normal patterns, please encourage your son or daughter to contact University Counseling & Consulting Services or the Boynton Mental Health Clinic. Help is available for the temporary issues as well as for more significant risks.