Tips on Supporting your Student

When your student is struggling with mental health issues, here are some tips on how to support them while they are at college:

  • Listen to what they have to say, and ask them how you can best support them.
  • Reassure them that you care, and try to validate what they feel and what they are going through.
  • Encourage your student to see a mental health professional.
  • Allow your student to take the lead in seeking needed support but please reach out if student is unwilling or unable.
  • Research your student’s diagnosis to find out more specific ways you can support them.

Preparing You and Your Student for College

Here are some of the best tips on preparing you and your student for college:

  • Have your student save the phone number for Juniata College Public Safety in their cell phone in case of an emergency. (# 814-641-3636) Parents are welcome to do the same.
  • Let your student vent about their roommate, but never intervene in a conflict. Let your student or the residential life staff at the college handle it.
  • Listening to your student or spouse/partner can be very beneficial the first few weeks after your student moves. Try to be patient and kind while listening!
  • To help your student develop more independence and self-reliance, encourage your student to be uncomfortable and fight their own battles.
  • If your student tells you that they are homesick, reinforce that these feelings are normal. If you are able, tell them a day they will get to see their family again.
  • When visiting your student, talk to them before making plans and discuss the timing of these events so that you are all on the same page.
  • When your student comes home on breaks, it is helpful to have a discussion pertaining to any rules or expectations that may have changed now that they are in college.
  • If your student is struggling academically, remember that expressing disappointment won’t help—supporting and encouraging your student will help them to fix their grades.

Confidentiality

Counseling Services provides confidential counseling to students. We respect the fact that your student is now an adult and has the right to make treatment decisions. We will not disclose any information to parents about their student without written consent from the student.

You may find the following books and websites useful as you and your child transition to college

The Happiest Kid on Campus: A Parent’s Guide to the Very Best College Experience; by Harlan Cohen (Sourcebooks, 2010)

Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years; by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger (Harper, 2009)

You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years; by Marjorie Savage (Fireside, 2009)

I’ll Miss You, Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students; by Margo E. Woodacre-Bane and Steffany Bane (Sourcebooks, 2006)

The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior Year to College Life; by Laura S. Kastner, PhD. and Jennifer Wyatt, PhD. (Clarkson Potter, 2002)

Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years; by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller (St. Martin’s Press, 2000)

When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent’s Survival Guide; by Carol Barkin (Harper, 1999)

Online Resources

https://collegeparents.org/

www.adolescenthealth.org (You can download one free copy of "The Healthy Student" from this webpage.)