Andrea Petersen’s article recently published again in the Wall Street Journal recently, provides a few solid tips to parents and their teens on using these next couple of months to get a head start on managing whatever have been their mental health challenges.   It’s not too late.

Heading off to college for many teens having previously struggled with anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and other emotional issues, can be a time for a “fresh start.”   If not prepared, college can become a catalyst for even greater distress.   Psychiatrists and Psychologists agreed that engaging in a “different kind” of college prep work could be helpful to those who have previously struggled.

It is also a productive time for parents who have been “doing everything” for their  teen, to let go, allowing them to learn and test their own independent living skills.

Questions to ask yourself:

Are you satisfied that your child is able to manage their sleep schedule? Do they remember to take their medications and know how to deal with the inevitable emotional challenges. Can they properly manage their money, advocate for themselves, and make their own travel arrangements?  Far too many students arrive at College ill-prepared to manage their time, know where to go for help, eat properly, manage money, and so many more basics that were provided for at home.  The College environment can be difficult enough for those with solid independent living skills.  Imagine what it must be like for those who may be more fragile.

The idea of working on independent living skills prior to starting college is right on target.