When students start college there are many adjustments to make.
College can be, and often is, quite challenging; count on it and plan for it. During this time of transition, and throughout college, there are several offices on campus that can offer students assistance.
Students are encouraged to plan ahead and to coordinate the services they will need prior to arriving on campus. We encourage students to do all they can, in advance, to plan for success.
In particular, the staff of Counseling Services and Disability Support Services are happy to provide students with support throughout their career at R-MC. Sometimes it helps to know there is a safe place and a safe person to consult with, as students seek to address the challenges they encounter during college.
Resources for Success
Familiarize yourself with campus resources prior to coming to campus. The following are excellent resources for students to take advantage of:
- Disability Support Services
- Higgins Academic Center
- Counseling Services
- Health Services
- Academic Advisors
- Dean of Students
- Housing/Residential Life
- Resident Advisors
- Orientation Leaders
- Campus Safety
- Career Services
- Coaching Staff
- Chaplin's office
- Campus Ministries
- Financial Aid
- International Education
Guidelines For Students With a History of Emotional and Psychological Concerns
These guidelines are offered to help students who either have had past mental health concerns, or who currently are dealing with mental health challenges, while preparing for the transition to college:
- Start planning now for a healthy transition to college. Prevention works and helps ensure success.
- Meet with your psychiatrist, medical doctor, and/or mental health professional to review medications you are currently taking, as well as identifying an appropriate means of securing refills (consult with R-MC Student Health); to discuss anticipated stresses related to the transition to college life and leaving home; and to develop relapse prevention strategies.
- Prior to coming to school, consult with Counseling Services and Disability Support Services staff about campus and local resources; including, when appropriate, academic or environmental accommodations.
- As warranted, register with Disability Support Services prior to starting school. Appropriate documentation will need to be provided to DSS. Even if a student never makes use of an accommodation, it can be helpful to be registered with DSS and to know they have accommodations available as an appropriate option.
- If you are a local resident, consider continuing to meet periodically with your mental health professional during your first semester at college rather than starting counseling with someone new and adding to the stress and changes you are experiencing.
- Consult with R-MC Health Services should you need medication monitoring or refills. Do not wait until you run out or until you have symptoms; make contact with Student Health early! Take your medication as prescribed. Be careful to not self-medicate using alcohol, other drugs, or food.
- Develop a stress management plan and plan to get adequate sleep. Increased stress and decreased sleep often are factors in the recurrence or exacerbation of mental health concerns. Inversely, getting adequate, good quality sleep (and doing so consistently) is one of the best ways to manage mental health concerns.
- Have a plan to follow if symptoms of your condition begin to recur or intensify. Respond quickly rather than putting off action. This can help you feel better more quickly and minimize the possible negative impact of a relapse on academic and social activities.
- Contact Counseling Services at 804.752.7270 and/or Disability Support Services at 804.752.7343 and make an appointment; a staff member will assist you in developing your action plan.