How We’re Preparing for College Depression
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck to write about depression in college-aged students. All opinions are my own.
I was 16 when I had my first suicide attempt. I was overwhelmed with stress from my family, school, getting into college, and I felt like I was failing it all.
After an argument with my mom, I attempted to do something irresponsible and dangerous. At the age of 37, it’s still difficult for me to speak publicly about it.
Even then, I didn’t realize the severity of the dark thoughts I struggled with daily. Depression had run its course in both sides of my family, and yet this behavior wasn’t a red flag for my parents.
Black People Don’t Do Therapy
Maybe it was because of how commonplace that behavior was in our family. Maybe they were too scared to acknowledge how bad this was. Maybe it was because we’re an African American family, and black people don’t “do therapy.” I didn’t get the help I needed at the time.
I went on to live a “normal” life; attending college and joining the military, while putting my mental health on the back burner. Once I became a mom, I realized how detrimental it was to take care of my own mental health. I also immediately worried for my son.
Parenthood Changes Everything
In a few shorts years, my first-born will be off to college. College is a place where, if you aren’t mentally at peace, you could drown. We’ve all seen the news reports about college kids becoming involved in extremely self-destructing behavior, and succumbing to college depression. Will my kid be included in one of those stories?
While I don’t want to tell my son’s full story (that’s his truth and journey), I will say we have already seen signs that we need to invest in his mental health. We’re being proactive before we send him out into the world. We’re breaking the cycle and letting him know that black males do go to therapy, and it in no way makes them inferior or weak.
Mental health affects all college students, to some degree, and college depression shouldn’t be a stigma for our kids.
This may be a difficult idea for parents of teens. We get so wrapped up in how they’re physically growing, doing in school, building romantic relationships, and where (or if) they will go to college, that we aren’t scheduling their “check-ups from the neck up.”
When Med-IQ contacted me about partnering with them to start the conversation about college depression, I felt as if it was a sign. A sign that we’re making the right decision for our son, and there are resources to help generate awareness around depression among teens and dismantling any stigmas around it.
More About Med-IQ
Med-IQ is an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.
My biggest struggle has been finding an accredited and trustworthy resource to use as our son transitions into this new phase of his life, while also maintaining my own mental health. Med-IQ will now fill that void.
We also love this site, Set To Go, because it focuses on the transition from high school to college and adulthood: https://www.settogo.org/
A Helpful Survey
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate.
Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with depression and mental health in your college-aged child, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards.
If you choose to enter, your email address will not be sold, kept, or stored; email addresses are used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.