Keep in touch with your friends and family from home that you normally go to when you’re feeling low. Maintaining those important relationships is key to ensuring you have people to turn to during a depressive episode. Schedule a regular time each week to talk over the phone or video chat, or see them in-person if you live close enough.
It’s definitely scary to open up to new people about your depression, but know that mental health diagnoses are actually quite common. According to The Center for Collegiate and Mental Health, nearly half of college students have attended counseling for mental health concerns (1). It’s likely that whoever you talk to either struggles with a mental illness or knows someone who does.
RAs are in the dorms to support you. Let them know early on that you can sometimes struggle and could use their help from time to time. Giving the RA this notice can help them better understand your situation and how to best help you.
Support groups can be a great way to get support and meet new friends. Many college counseling centers offer support groups, and Mental Health America has a comprehensive listing of support groups you could attend.
Mental health advocacy and awareness student clubs on campus can also be a great way to meet others struggling with depression and other mental illnesses. Active Minds is a popular student club that promotes mental health awareness on campuses.