For Parents & Family

How to Talk with Your Student about Mental Health

  • Show confidence in your student by allowing them to learn from their mistakes, own and celebrate their successes, and fight their own battles.
  • Be a "safety net" not a "safety harness."
  • Help your student remember to put the inevitable ups and downs of college in perspective.
  • Remember that they are still practicing to be full-fledged adults. Achieving maturity is a long process.
  • Keep phone calls brief and non-prying. Listen more than talk.
  • Encourage your student to get involved in at least one extra curricular activity in the first quarter or semester.
  • Early homesickness does not predict poor adjustment to college.
  • Help your student stay connected with events going on at home — keep them in the loop.
  • Keep the communication channels open. Discuss difficult topics (e.g., alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, future careers) prior to coming and throughout college.
  • Familiarize yourself with DU's campus, community, and online resources. There are many!

Learn more about early indicators of mental health issues.

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