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Arlington, Va. —NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has released a new video series aimed at helping college bound students and their families talk about mental health. The videos are part of the “Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health” guide NAMI and the Jed Foundation released last year. Approximately 75% of mental health conditions begin by age 24, making college a critical time to focus on mental health, especially as students transition away from their support systems.
“Heading off to college is an exciting time with new experiences, new friends, and independence but there can also be challenges,” said Mary Giliberti, J.D., Chief Executive Officer, NAMI. “These videos, based on our Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health guide, provide students and families with what they need to understand and talk about mental health, have a plan in place, and avoid tragedy from emerging mental illnesses,” said Giliberti.
Giliberti herself has a daughter who will begin college in the fall. They recently read the guide and watched the video together, with her daughter becoming better aware of the challenges of transition. They filled out the forms in the guide and her daughter is keeping the guide for future reference.
The videos, narrated by Corinne Foxx, walk viewers through the ups and downs of starting college; how to take care of mental health, when to seek help, who to talk to, privacy laws and how students can keep their families informed. Key takeaways from the video include:
· Mental health conditions are common. One in five young adults will experience a mental health condition during their college years. When facing a mental illness, students should know they are not alone.
· There are warning signs. Parents and students should learn how to recognize the warning signs of mental health conditions and to act. Being informed can save lives.
· Whom to talk to and when to seek help. Students should be aware of resources and care options on and off campus and should not hesitate to ask for help.
· How to understand the laws and make a plan. Learn about health privacy laws and restrictions on sharing sensitive information with families. Having a support system makes it easier for students to overcome mental health challenges.
Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health is a resource for students and parents to start this important conversation. While it may be a hard conversation to initiate, the guide makes it easier, and having the talk can make all the difference. Watch the videos, download infographics and the guide, and learn more at www.https://www.nami.org/collegeguide