College Parents of America has long been concerned about issues involving student health.  Most recently our concerns have focused on the complex mental health needs of college students. This is the first of several posts we will share regarding a) Starting the Conversation b) Recognizing the Trends c) Advocating for Support.

In fact, did you know that 75% of all mental health conditions begin by age 24? That’s why the college years are so critical for families to be prepared to understand and speak about mental health issues.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five students will suffer from a mental health condition while attending college. In order to learn more about what colleges are doing to support affected students, we spoke with student health centers at four-year public universities.   NAMI created this video based on the guide Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health developed in partnership with The Jed Foundation.

In our follow up posts, we will explore more of the issues that impact student mental health.  Student health research indicates that the growth of mental health conditions has more than doubled in the last five years.  Furthermore,  despite a great effort by colleges and universities, it has become difficult for institutions to meet the growing demands for services.

Please share this video and discussion with your fellow parents.  Your courage to discuss mental health issues is vital to building the capacity and awareness for students to remain healthy.