It’s much easier to have a plan in place before a mental health crisis emerges while a student is away at college. Here are some tips for parents of new college students – whether or not they’ve had prior mental health care:
- Make sure your child knows the crisis number(s) to call or text in case of an emergency.
- Review your insurance coverage in advance and familiarize yourself with out-of-network benefits. Learn what student health insurance options are available through the college, being mindful that your child may need coverage near home during the long winter and summer breaks.
- Know whether your insurance plan has a preferred hospital near campus, should your child require urgent care. Share this information with your child.
- Determine who to contact at the college should you observe concerning changes in your child’s behaviour (Health & Counselling? Dean of Students? Residence Advisor?)
- Educate yourself about consent, sexual assault, and substance abuse; talk openly with your child about these issues before they leave home.
- Familiarize yourself with the college’s Code of Conduct, Leave of Absence policies, and information sharing practices.