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It’s that time of year! Be ready to start or go back to school.

August 23, 2017

Heading back to school can be exciting and sometimes a little bit overwhelming for students and families. We hope the resources and tips below will help you feel prepared and make the transition as smooth as possible.

Know About Privacy & Parental Notification Laws

A lot happens when a child turns 18. In particular, there are two important legal changes that occur that we want to bring to your attention. We encourage families to learn about them, the options available and make an informed decision about what, if any, action to take together.

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):
    This law protects a student’s educational information, so parents/guardians no longer have the right to access their 18 year old’s academic records.
    Our guide developed in partnership with NAMI, Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health, provides tips and conversation starters for managing common mental health concerns, explains the laws and rules around privacy and parental notification, and encourages family discussion about how students can keep their parents informed. It also includes an authorization release form.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):
    This law protects a young adult’s health information, so parents/guardians no longer have the right to access their 18 year old’s healthcare nor direct a healthcare provider without approval.

JED’s Summer Interns Share Back to School Tips!

  • Set aside time for yourself each day: Once school starts, it can be easy to get caught up in assignments and social life and start feeling stressed. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk or even binge-watching a new show, it’s very important to take time for yourself.
  • Create a realistic schedule: If you know you’re not going to study for five hours straight, don’t expect to! Try to plan ahead and set aside an hour at a time to start – you may find it easier to get back in the swing of things.
  • Find a balance: While it’s important to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone, set limits for yourself. Don’t feel pressure to join every club, while also taking 17 credits, playing a club sport and participating in Greek life. This way you can give your full effort to each activity.
  • Reach out to friends: It can be easy to forget that your friends are likely experiencing the same back-to-school jitters, so talk to each other about what you’re feeling nervous or excited about – support one another.

Big shout-out to our amazing interns for their hard work and great energy this summer.
Bradley, Carolyn, Flora, Nina, Seely and Susan – 

Prepare for the Transition to School

  • Set to Go is a new JED program that guides students, families and high school educators through the social, emotional and mental health challenges related to the transition out of high school to college and adulthood. The site features a number of tools and resources and we especially encourage students who have an existing mental health issue and their families to review the Transition of Care Guide.

Learn How to Seek or Give Help

  • JED’s Mental Health Resource Center: JED’s website provides essential information about common emotional health issues and provides guidance on what to do if you’re worried about yourself or someone else.
  • ULifeline: This resource center for college students provides information about mental health and the specific resources available on over 1,600 campuses. It also offers a confidential mental health self-screening tool.

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The World Health Organization defines “mental health” “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” In using this definition, S2i recognizes that some mental health challenges reflect brain diseases that, like physical diseases, require appropriate stigma-free and patient-centered care and include both mental health and substance use disorders. Other mental health challenges stem from social conditions and marginalization and require different forms of interventions.