• By Deb Balzer

College Depression: What Parents Need to Know

September 15, 2015

For many college kids, freshman year is the first time they've ever lived away from home.college student in classroom, sad, alone, disappointed, depressed
Fear, anxiety, homesickness and sadness are common and very normal emotions during this often stressful time of transition. But if those feelings last longer than two weeks, your college student may be depressed. Mayo Clinic pediatrician Dr. Jay Hoecker says, "We're talking about a challenging time in life. And, it's actually amazing that people get through it when you think about how profound those changes and stresses are."

Dr. Hoecker wants parents or caregivers to encourage their college kids to talk about their feelings. He also recommends that depressed students go to the school's health center, or schedule a visit with their primary care provider or pediatrician, who can refer them to a mental health specialist if needed. Depression is treatable.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hoecker are available in the downloads. [TRT 2:43]  Click here for the transcript.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death among college-aged people. Dr. Hoecker says do not ignore the symptoms. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if your child may be thinking about suicide. 1-800-273-8255. Or 1-800-ARE-TALK.

Click here to read more about college depression.

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