For first-year students
While the college provides limited support services, students are encouraged to proactively address their mental health concerns prior to coming to campus.
The following recommendations are offered to help students who either have had past mental health concerns or who currently are dealing with mental health challenges while preparing for the transition to college:
- Start planning now for a healthy transition to college.
- If you have put off getting help, don’t wait any longer. The stresses inherent in leaving home, coupled with the transition to college and the related adjustments, may result in the worsening of your symptoms.
- Meet with your psychiatrist, medical doctor, and/or mental health professionals(s) to review medications you currently may be taking, discuss anticipated stresses related to the transition to college life and leaving home, and develop relapse prevention strategies.
- If you are local, consider continuing to meet periodically with your mental health professional during your first semester at college rather than starting counseling with someone new and adding to the stress and changes you are experiencing.
- Have an up-to-date treatment plan and follow it.
- Take your medication as prescribed. Be careful to not self-medicate using alcohol, other drugs, or food.
- Develop a stress management plan, and get adequate sleep. Increased stress and lack of sleep often are factors in the recurrence or enhancement of a mental health concern.
- Have a plan to follow if symptoms of your condition begin to recur or intensify.
- If symptoms of your condition begin to recur or intensify, respond quickly rather than putting off action. This can help you feel better more quickly and minimize the possible negative impact of a relapse on academic and social activities.
- Contact the Counseling Services at (540) 432-4317 (or ext. 4317 if you are on campus) and make an appointment with a counselor who will assist you in developing your action plan. The counselor will provide you with short-term counseling and crisis management and help you connect with other campus and community resources.
- Familiarize yourself with other campus and local community mental health resources prior to coming to campus. Resident Directors, Community Assistants, Campus Ministries, Ministry Assistants, International Student Services, Multicultural Services, Academic Support Center, Disability Services, and Career Services are excellent sources of assistance and referral for students.
__Adapted from Mental Health Services of Central Michigan University and Counseling Services, Goshen College. Used with permission from Susan Landis Beck.