National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from
(800) 950-NAMI;

Depression on Campus

In an interview with, Dr. Richard Kadison, author of the newly published book,  College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It, advises parents on how they can help their children overcome the emotional problems that can overwhelm them in college.  Kadison cites factors that can trigger depression in college students, including post-9/11 anxiety,  debt, heightened expectations with little downtime, and sleep deprivation.

Parents understandably want to protect their college-age children from becoming overwhelmed by stress, but Dr. Kadison urges parents to give their children the opportunity to solve their own problems. He asks parents to take an active role in listening to their children; "When kids are having a hard time, they most need to know that their parents are going to listen, even if they disagree or are angry."

Dr. Kadison advises parents to ask if the campus has mental health services available to students, citing that emotional health is linked to academic success. Most of all, he wants parents to convey the message to their children that although their children are adults, they’re never alone.