May 9, 2023

Supporting Your Student's Mental Health During The Summer

Dear Friends and Family of Goucher College,

It is May and another academic year is in the books. For some, summer means a much-needed break and a change of scenery. Yet summer can also mean a challenging transition away from the freedoms of being at college, the structure that class schedules created, or the addition of work or more work hours. Like any transitions, this transition from class to summer break may affect mental health.

Now is not too early to speak to your student about connecting or reconnecting with local mental health providers to ease the changes associated with summer break, taking time to recover from the stressors of the academic year, or even bolstering skills and strategies from the 2023-24 academic year. Here are some tips you may find helpful in supporting your college student during the summer months.

  1. HELP THEM SEEK RESOURCES: If your student is struggling with their mental health, encourage them to seek help from a mental health provider or other resources. Provide information about counseling services or support groups that may be available through their employer or community. If over 18, your student will need to initiate mental health care themselves, but you can still walk alongside them through those processes.

  2. LISTEN AND SUPPORT: Encourage your student to talk openly about their thoughts and feelings and listen actively without criticism or jumping immediately into problem-solving. (As parents ourselves, we know the latter is hard!) Offer emotional support and validation. Reassure them that feeling anxious and overwhelmed is typical and even expected through any transition—even one that is considered a positive life experience.

  3. ENCOURAGE SELF-CARE: Remind your child to prioritize their mental and physical health by practicing self and communal care. Encourage them to engage in activities they enjoy, get enough sleep, eat well, and move regularly.

  4. PROMOTE OPEN COMMUNICATION: Encourage open communication with your child about mental health and help them break down any stigma or shame associated with seeking help. Let them know that you are there to support them and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

All Goucher students have access to a search platform called WellTrack Connect. This platform allows students to individually create and view customized searches of providers based on areas of expertise, insurance paneling, location, and identity factors. Make sure they use their Goucher email account when opening a profile. Students may also send messages to providers of interest to begin the scheduling process. Additional public search engines that may be useful in this search include Psychology Today and Good Therapy.

May you all have an enjoyable and restorative summer,

Student Counseling Center

Visit WellTrack Connect at