Back to school: Experts alert to students' mental well-being

Advise students prioritize a good night's rest
Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 18:28:31-04

For many, college move-in day is around the corner. And parents and students are in the stages of getting ready for freshman orientation, or shopping for the dorm essentials.

The National Retail Federation expects back-to-college spending to reach $54.1 billion — nearly twice as much as back-to-school spending for grade through high school students.

But even with the start date relatively near, school counselors say there's much more to be mindful of.

"Don't wait until the week before school starts to start the bedtime again,” said Dr. Vicky Londer, a college counselor in District 66. “I know even for college kids, it's the first time you can stay up ‘til 2 in the morning, and mom isn't yelling at you about it. But just really know that it is important for your health and mental well-being."

Mental health is another aspect often overlooked.

Today, college students across the U.S. are battling depression at a record rate.

The American College Counseling Association has noticed a steady increase of students who report they are struggling with their mental health.

"Most colleges now, every campus I visited in the last two years offers free counseling sessions to students that are struggling,” she said. “So it's just letting them know, it's OK to say, ‘I am stuck I need some help.’ "

Dr. Londer said the other important thing to remember is that your kids can't start too early when it comes your kid to thinking about what they want to do after their high school career.

"We, this year, are going to have a college fair this year, and we're inviting eighth-graders, because we just think it’s important to be thinking about," she said.

It’s good information to help students get into the mindset for college years down the road, and with school starting in a matter of weeks, she said.