To help put a thoughtful plan into place should a mental health condition arise, NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and The Jed Foundation have created this guide to help start the conversation. It offers both parents and students the opportunity to learn more about mental health, including what the privacy laws are and how mental health information can be shared.
Keep these in mind when you start your conversation:
- Mental health conditions are common. In fact, one in five young adults will experience a mental health condition during college. If you develop a mental illness, remember that you are not alone.
- Exercise, sleep and diet are important. Your physical health and mental health are connected and impact one another. Remember to take care of your body in order to take care of your mind.
- Know where and when to seek help, and who to talk to. Make yourself aware of resources and care options on and off campus. If you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to the counseling center or a trusted advisor.
- Understand your health privacy laws. Devise a plan on whether and how you will allow your school to share sensitive information about your mental health with your family or a trusted adult. Find out if your school has an authorization form, or use the one included in our guide.
- There are warning signs. Verse yourself on the warning signs of mental health conditions and how to respond. These are available in the guide and the infographic below. Being informed can save lives.