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Hold On Loosely: 5 Good Check-Ins to Assess Your College-Aged Child’s Mental Health

Young Adult Mental Health

As parents, we strive to offer our college-aged children the independence they need while staying connected enough to support their well-being. This delicate balance can be particularly challenging when it comes to mental health. With the pressures of college life, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your child's emotional and psychological state. Here are five effective check-ins that can help you assess and support your child's mental health.  


Open Conversations: Setting the Stage for Honest Dialogue


Maintaining open lines of communication is key when your kid is in college. Regularly ask open-ended questions like, "How are you feeling about your classes?" or "What’s been the highlight of your week?" These questions encourage your child to share their experiences and feelings without feeling pressured. Remember to listen actively and validate their emotions, making them feel heard and supported. 


Monitor Academic Performance: A Window into Their Well-Being


A significant drop in grades can be a red flag. Check in with your child about their academic progress. Ask if they are feeling overwhelmed or if they need help managing their coursework. Sometimes, academic struggles can be a symptom of underlying mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.  


Social Connections: Assessing Their Support System


College life can be socially demanding. Inquire about your child’s social life by asking questions like, "Have you made any new friends?" or "Are you involved in any campus activities?" A lack of social connections or withdrawal from social activities can be indicators of mental health concerns. Encourage them to engage in campus life and build a supportive network.


Observe Behavioral Changes: The Subtle Signs


Pay attention to changes in behavior, sleep patterns, and eating habits. If your child seems unusually withdrawn, irritable, or has drastic changes in their routine, it might be time to delve deeper. These subtle signs can often precede more serious mental health issues and should not be ignored. 


Encourage Professional Help: When to Seek Assistance


Sometimes, professional intervention is necessary. Encourage your child to visit the college counseling center or seek therapy if they express feelings of being overwhelmed or persistently sad. Reinforce the idea that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.


Learn More About Momentum


As parents, holding on loosely while staying connected can make a significant difference in your child’s mental health during their college years. At Momentum Recovery, we are here to support you and your family through these challenges. By employing these check-ins, you can help ensure your child’s college experience is not only successful but also healthy and fulfilling.


If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Momentum Recovery. We're committed to helping families navigate these critical years with compassion and expertise.