colleges and mental health

<p>From today's New York Times:

The Dorms May Be Great, but How's the Counseling?</p>

<p>..... Experts say that, given the prevalence of emotional difficulties on campus, it pays to find out, before choosing a college, what mental health services are available.</p>

<p>"Since each student has roughly a 50-50 chance of having some symptoms of depression or other problems, I think it has to be part of the consideration in choosing a college," said Dr. Kadison, who is also the author of "College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It." </p>

<p>Most universities offer counseling and other psychiatric care, but that care varies widely in range and quality. Some mental health services may be covered by a student's tuition, fees or health insurance. Others - visits to a psychotherapist or medication specialist in the community, for example - may not.....


<p>I couldn't agree more with Dr. Kadison. Even the most well-adjusted kids can have trouble being away from home in new and stressful surroundings.</p>

<p>I read this edit earlier in the morning. Further down, it refers to a lawsuit that has been filed against MIT in the death of Elizabeth Shin 4-5 yrs ago. After reading the chronology of this case, I was appalled at the neglience of the university in acknowledging and treating the deteriorating mental health of this student. She was obviously crying out for help...what a travesty.</p>

<p>The school is there to educate--not act as parent. If a student has issues the parents are the first that should be contacted assuming the kid is still a dependent. It is nice that they might choose to offer counseling services but it is not a right.</p>

<p>Apparently Elizabeth Shin was still a dependent...MIT did not contact the parents regarding her suicidal state. After self inflicted wounds...she eventually set herself on fire in her dorm room.</p>

<p>Legally she was not a dependent. Most students are not, unless they are under 18. According to the FERPA regulations, schools can not legally contact parents over academic or health issues.</p>

<p>Actually legally most students are dependents until they finish college--check your tax returns. The rest sounds like a real world Catch 22.</p>

<p>There are different definitions of dependency, according to different contexts.<br>
From a tax standpoint, most students are indeed dependent, but as far as FERPA is concerned, Garland is right.
I made an appointment for a routine medical check-up for my college S for when he got home. When the nurse called my home to remind him of his appointment, she would not even tell me what it was about, invoking FERPA, even though <em>I</em> was the one who had made the appointment. She laughed at the absurdity of it all, but remained tight-lipped. Yet, for the purpose of health insurance, he was my dependent so long as he was in college.</p>

<p>Another perspective on the case,</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>If the parents knew she had problems in HS, then why'd they let her go away to college???</p>

<p>My thinking is that many students aren't ready to go away to college. I haven't been away to college, but I have been living on my own since I was 17 and I think college is probably a lot less stressful than working full time and being responsible for your own bills.
I encourage students to take time off , to really want to go to college, not go just cause it is the "next step".
Many programs available to help young people gain additional perspective and maturity before they go off and spend $$$$$ of their own and their parents money on something they may not be getting full worth out of.
My daughter took a year off, additionally she signed a form allowing the school or others to contact me in case of ill health.
While you are able to take dependents off your income tax, they are adults by the time they are 18, and able to sign contracts, vote etc. You will also have to have them sign something to recieve their grades, and while the school can contact you in case of emergency,( if they have signed release) I would also recommend getting to know their RA/HAs and friends so that you can contact them directly as well if you have any concerns</p>

<p>Don't know about that. Somehow I think school and work are equally or close to equally stressful. Both are work, both can be annoying, and at the end of the day with both you want to go home, unplug your phone so no one can bother you, and go to sleep.</p>

<p>Living on your own your day is much longer than in college, especially when you add in commute time. It was always hard to predict how bad traffic would be ( there wasn't a bus route) and usually I was 35 minutes early to make up for those days when it took that long to get there.
When you get home you can't relax cause there is cooking, washing and cleaning to be done. Working a first or second job, you are often required/expected to have a wardrobe that you can't afford, college students can wear whatever.
In college you can expect regular breaks and holidays, unless you work at a bank, you aren't going to get many holidays off until you have been there a year and get vacation. I always had to use my vacation for sick days, so I don't remember taking vacation till I quit.
Of course on my own I had a lot more freedom, no parents to ask what my grades were or to expect me to come home for xmas, I was the one who made the doctor appts. who paid the gas bill, who took the car to the shop.
I barely even called my mother ( my father died when I was 17) and she never called my apartment that I can remember. I certainly expect a lot more communication out of my kids ( not that I get it from the 14 yr old!)</p>

<p>A first job ( it was actually 6th, but it was my first"office" job : by the time I was 22 I had babysat, worked cleaning kennels,worked in the kitchen of a nursing home. "kitchen" of drive-in theatre and in a record shop) is often nothing like what you want to spend your life doing, and there isn't a sense of being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I imagine for many, especially if they haven't had meaningful job experience in college that even with a college degree the first job is pretty depressing.</p>

<p>This is something all parents of children with prior mental health or physical health issues must be aware of - you can't get any official health info on them. This as a physician and parent does kind of irk me, but the analogous situation is having family insurance coverage for your spouse - you as the worker "pay" for the coverage, but you are not entitled to details of your spouse's medical record. Now we all know it doesn't quite work that way - your wife has surgery, the doc still comes out and says she's doing OK, etc, but written records, and mental health especially is another thing.</p>

<p>Someone posted not long ago about a searching for colleges for a child recovering from an eating disorder - very pertinent questions for families in those situations are not only how good are the mental health support services? but also how am I going to keep tabs on my daughter while allowing her the space and autonomy she needs to launch? How stressful is this college/major? If she needs 6 years to finish instead of 4 because of health development issues, can we afford that? Does the college's program accomodate longer stays? Is this the best fit for my child?</p>

<p>Something else from a medical viewpoint, that the commentary on the article alludes to - suicide is much more common than people think, and so is mental illness. Major depression and first schizophrenic episodes (especially) often begin in adolescents and young adults 15-25, sometimes with no personal history, but usually with warning signs if the family can see them. This is all so sad, and so difficult to deal with from the public health and provacy perspective.</p>

<p>Hot off the virtual press from everyone's favorite USNWR:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Another interesting piece of this is sleep. In 1980, students were sleeping between 7 and 7.5 hours. In 2002, it was between 6 and 6.9 hours. Eighty percent of people who have depression have sleep problems.</p>

<p>I am sending this article to my daughter. she thinks she can function on 6 hours of sleep. She should remember what I was like when her sister was 0 to 3, I had only about 4 hours a night and I was certifiable!</p>

<p>I'm not surprised by the sleep thing considering that in the past on the old CC forums high schoolers used to post that they stayed up until 1 or 2 in the morning doing homework. I don't understand how these kids go to school for hours, are expected to do mountains of homework afterwards, study for standardized tests, and participate in EC's, community service, and sports to make their school record look good to colleges. No wonder they get no sleep..............</p>

<p>I commute to school and I know what it's like to wake up at 5 am and not get home until 5, 6 or 7 pm and then want to do nothing but watch tv.</p>

<p>They aren't doing mountains of homework, they are I'ming their friends.
They look like they are working but they're not really.
Generally college students live on or close to campus, some of my daughters friends don't even have any classes that start before 10. ( Her sisters school starts at 7:50)
She didn't study for any tests, her school didn't do state mandated tests cause it was private , she could have studied for SAT but do people really study for that? I think you either know it or don't by that time. She did often have theatre till 8 or 9 and her volunteer job on alternate days till 7 but she did those cause she loved it, not to make her "look good". I would never recommend doing any EC or job cause you think it will "look good". Do it because you are drawn to it, and it will give you energy instead of sucking it away.</p>

<p>I'm not sure I believe that is true for all areas though. I don't remember this--but I was told that I had as much as 2 to 3 hours of homework in the 2nd grade. The 2nd grade!! And my mother was the only parent complaining about the teachers....</p>