Many college students can’t manage the stress of daily life. This tool can help.

Aug 20, 2018 by

Many factors in a college student’s mental health are beyond their control. But mental-health professionals are increasingly focusing on one aspect that we can control: emotional resilience. And they say students should start building this skill as early as middle school.

Jennifer Richards was just days into her freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania when a friend told her he wanted to kill himself. A few weeks later, another friend disclosed he’d swallowed dozens of pills in an attempt to end his life. She was the first person they each confided in, so she felt responsible to get them help.

It was more than most freshmen deal with in a year, let alone a month. But Richards, now a sophomore, says it shaped her college experience for the better. Both her friends received treatment. She joined student government to advocate for changes in mental-health policy and built a group of friends equally passionate about helping.

“I thought of it as, ‘What happened, happened. But what can we do from this point on?’ ” Richards said.

That ability to channel a traumatic experience into positive action — also known as emotional resilience — is what mental-health professionals define as a key attribute of people who thrive in life.

Source: Many college students can’t manage the stress of daily life. This tool can help.

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