Navigating the Transition to College

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For most teenagers, graduation from high school is a time of celebration and anticipation of adventures to come. Many head off …

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For most teenagers, graduation from high school is a time of celebration and anticipation of adventures to come. Many head off to college and the freedoms it offers. For the young adult with a mental illness, this can be a particularly challenging time. Academic pressure, social concerns, and poor sleeping and eating habits can quickly affect well being. Toss in easy access to drugs and alcohol and the mentally ill student may find himself quickly caught up in circumstances that negatively impact his mental health and physical well being.

Parents, who know their child is mentally ill, can help the child survive and thrive in college. But success requires a plan – finding local counseling and medical care, taking proper medications on schedule, avoiding drugs and alcohol, maintaining a sleep and study schedule, and finding peer support are all necessary. Most colleges have support services available to help parents and students connect with the resources they need to create a successful college experience.

For the family with a student who hasn’t previously been identified as having a mental illness, the stress and upheaval of the first two years of college can reveal a genetic vulnerability for a mental illness, which may then emerge or intensify an existing condition. These students may turn to drugs and alcohol in an effort to “manage” their own illness or attempt suicide as a means of finding relief. A family that has never encountered mental illness in this way may be unsure of how best to help their young adult.

Pasadena Villa provides a safe, comfortable, and compassionate environment for young adults struggling with serious mental illness. By taking a temporary step back from college life and seeking treatment, these young adults learn how to better care for themselves in an independent living environment and develop the skills and routines necessary to deal with the challenges of college.

For more information

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.

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