The American Psychiatric Association is beginning a new campaign aimed at helping college students recognize the signs of mental illness and seek treatment if they find them.
The college-focused effort, part of the association's "Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives" public information campaign, is premised on the idea that traditional-age college students need special attention because they are at a key transition point in their lives, says Jessica Mikulski, a communications specialist at the APA.
"They're falling out of the umbrella of their parents' understanding the problems, and may not quite be at the stage yet where they might recognize the problems on their own as adults," she says.
So the association has rolled out a new informational Web page that has facts about depression, individual stories about students (including a former Miss Rhode Island) who confronted depression, and information about where and how to seek treatment.
Over the next two months, the psychiatric association plans to work with campus mental health officials, student groups, campus newspapers and others to "get the word out that depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and the like are part of college and that there's help out there," says Mikulski.