Mental health issues are on rise nationally across college campuses throughout the country. Living in a new outside the familiarity of home can often create overwhelming and stressful circumstances. There are, however, strategies students can implement to succeed including having a mental health plan, knowing tactics that boost performance, being a mental health advocate, and taking a mental health screening.

Mental Health Checklist

Whether you are just starting your college career or returning to campus after being diagnosed with a mental illness, having a plan in place for how to manage your mental health is key to setting yourself up for success.

1. Find out what mental health services your school offers

Research whether or not your school has mental health services available to students. A quick online search for the school’s counseling services or a phone call to the school can answer your questions. For those that do not offer services, ask for local providers to whom they can refer to you. If counseling services are available, important questions to ask include:

2. Make a mental health plan

Talk with your personal support network and current providers to create a mental health plan you are comfortable with and can execute. Figure out the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.

3. If applicable, factor in your medication

You might be surprised to find out that nearly 33% of college students have taken a prescribed medication for mental health concerns. If you use medications to help manage your mental health disorders, ensure that you have enough of a supply (including refills) to last until you are able to see your doctor again. Do not stop taking your medications suddenly. Just as medications themselves may have side effects, stopping them suddenly can also have side effects. This is known as discontinuation syndrome. If you would like to try managing your mental health disorder without medication, speak to a psychiatrist about the safest way to stop or other options. If you feel like your medication is not working as well as it should be, speak to your doctor to possibly readjust dosage or medication. Do not increase your dose on your own.

4. Get connected

Do not deal with your mental health disorder alone.

5. Explore additional services offered at your school

Mental health can be influenced by a variety of factors. Find out what your school offers in the following areas:


Boosting Academic Performance

Taking care of your body and mind can make a difference in how well you perform academically in school. Exercising, eating nutritionally, getting enough rest, and relaxing will help you do better and enjoy school more!

1. Regular exercise:

2. A healthy diet:

3. Plenty of rest:

4. Relaxation:

5. Mental health:


Become a Mental Health Advocate

The Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council of Greater St. Louis is a great opportunity for college students to create change on how mental health is perceived on college campuses and remove barriers to treatment that can help students achieve recovery and pursue their dreams.

Today’s college students experience record-high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. Early signs of some mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia begin during young adulthood, and early detection is key to recovery.

For many students, shame and fear of stigma from peers leads to suffering in silence. Stop hiding and start talking.

If you attend a college in the St. Louis area, consider joining the Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council of Greater St. Louis.


Mental Health Screening

Many people do not seek treatment in the early stages of mental illnesses because they do not recognize the symptoms. The delays in treatment for mental illnesses are two to four times longer than for many other health conditions.

Taking a screening can help catch mental health problems early—B4Stage4. Screening is an anonymous, free and private way to learn about your mental health and if you are showing warning signs of a mental illness.

A screening only takes a few minutes, and after you are finished you will be given information about the next steps you should take based on the results. A screening is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with your doctor or a loved one about your mental health.