As students go back to college, questions on mental health arise

EDINA, Minn. — Between classes, extracurricular obligations and additional life stressors, college can be demanding for students.

“That anxiety, that nervousness, it makes so much sense,” said Dr. Heidi Bausch-Ryan, a psychologist with CARE Counseling.

It also makes sense to get help if you need it.

“We see a lot of college students coming in, usually about mid to end semester,” Bausch-Ryan said.

But Bausch-Ryan said the sooner you can get help, the better.

“When they start to come in earlier on in the semester, we can help to develop some of those tools and strengths that enable them to be successful,” Bausch-Ryan said.

One thing that can help students on the road to success is organization.

“A physical planner or a digital planner can be so helpful [with navigating] what comes,” Bausch-Ryan said.

Navigating various stressors can feel daunting at times, but Dr. Bausch-Ryan recommended that students find some healthy outlets.

“Maybe engaging with something creative like art, photography, music, or being in or around nature. It helps to clear the mind,” she said.

Those around you can also be a great resource. Dr. Bausch-Ryan says being in a community of other students, whether online or in person, can work wonders.

Parents can help by doing check-ins with their children.

“More general, open-ended, broad questions,” Bausch-Ryan said. “What’s something you feel you’re struggling with, or what’s something that you feel is going well? What’s something that you feel like you’re shining [in] or that your strengths are emerging?”

While having your life together is the goal, don’t forget to have fun and give yourself some grace.

“Sometimes it takes time to be able to figure out what that balance looks like for you,” said Bausch-Ryan.

If you are interested in speaking with a counselor, CARE Counseling partners with many colleges to offer same-week availability.

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