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College stress can cause mental health problems

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a guide for caregivers and students with information they should be aware of before college starts. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/kasto80)

WASHINGTON — Parents sending kids to college should realize 75 percent of mental illnesses manifest by the age of 24. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a guide for caregivers and students with information they should be aware of before college starts.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young adults, after unintentional injuries. NAMI believes that the more people talk about mental health, the easier it will be to take care of it.

NAMI recommends parents start a conversation by saying something such as, “I know you’re excited about starting school. I’m excited for you too. Before school starts, let’s talk about common struggles that come up.”

NAMI’s College Guide has helpful information.

Stressors that might affect mental health include:

  • Bad grades
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Ending a relationship
  • Sports team losses
  • Feeling like you don’t fit in
  • Worrying about family back home

NAMI’s advice for managing college stress includes:

  • Make to-do lists approaching items one at a time
  • Seek support from friends or family
  • Exercise, get enough sleep and eat healthy foods
  • Avoid caffeine, smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Practice meditation or pray
  • Make and take time for yourself
  • Ask friends how they manage stress

NAMI says that even if their advice doesn’t apply to you, it might help you help someone else going through a tough time.

See the full-text of NAMI”s College Guide

NAMI College Guide

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