Mental Health Resources for Family & Friends

College can be stressful, so please know that there is someone that you can turn to for help.

The following information is meant to be useful for you as you guide your loved one through the stress & difficulties of being a college student. Remember that this is a transition and may require changes in relationships and expectations. Listening, giving support & interest, having an open mind and allowing change is part of the process of having a friend or family member in college.

Seasonal Variations for Student Problems


This can be an exciting time for some but for others it can be overwhelming. This is a time for making new friends. Involved students tend to do better academically so encourage your loved one to be involved on campus. It is also a good time for students to introduce themselves to professors and learn where the on-campus learning center resources are. See the "Coping with Change" section of the Self Help Guide.


A healthy diet, exercise and sufficient sleep are good ways to manage midterms and exams. Ask about friends & stress level. Healthy patterns of behavior can help with the months ahead. See the "Stress less!" section of the Self Help Guide.


November weather can be dreary & damp. Many students get sick as the cold and flu season begins. If your loved one has fallen behind in coursework encourage him/her to visit with professors. New student excitement may have given way to some discouragement. This is a good time to send your loved one a note or card.


Students are under a great deal of pressure finishing papers and studying for final exams. Students are often exhausted mentally and physically. See the "Why do I always get sick during exams?" section in the Self Help Guide.


Students receive fall semester grades and will either be thrilled or disappointed. Some students are eager for the long break and others are anxious to return to the new experiences of school. For parents it is natural for students to need you less and it is important not to take this personally. This is a process called individuation and it is a necessary part of growth and development. See the "Individuation" section of the Self Help Guide.


Extended periods of cold temperatures and a lack of sunshine may leave students “down” and restless. Alcohol use increases this time of year. Ask about general health and well-being. See the "Depression" section of the Self Help Guide.


March is mid-terms and that means stress. Spring is coming but students need to stay engaged. Ask about classes and stress level. Encourage healthy eating patterns, sleep and exercise. Use Spring Break wisely.


Warmer temperatures may make it harder to concentrate on academics. Ask about planning ahead for the rush of finals and papers in May.


The end of the academic year. May is a stressful month. For second year students there is the issue of leaving UWMC. Students will be both excited, sad and fearful. Students may be undecided about future directions. Encourage them to explore options. Visit the Career Exploration page.