Stay Connected

You don’t have to deal with depression alone while in college. Staying connected to others can help you feel less isolated. 

    • Keep in touch with friends and family. Stay connected to 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. 
    • Talk to friends on-campus: 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.
    • Consider joining a support group or mental health club.

      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. 

  1. Center for Collegiate and Mental Health. (2015, January). 2014 Annual Report. (Publication No. STA 15-30).

SOURCE: Mental Health America

Monitor Symptoms

Keeping a short daily record of symptoms can help you see if symptoms are getting worse. College can be chaotic and can make it hard to notice changes in your habits (i.e. sleeping or eating patterns) and corresponding changes in mood. Don’t wait to seek help when/if your mood gets consistently worse. You can use a paper journal or notebook to track your mood, or apps such as Daylio or Moodily.



Maintain Healthy Habits
  • Try to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and get between 7-9 hours of sleep/night. Definitely easier said than done, but maintaining these healthy habits can boost your mood and increase energy. (Having trouble finding the energy/motivation to exercise? Click here for ideas. Having difficulty making food? Click here for easy “depression-friendly” recipes.)
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also another very important healthy habit. While in the short term, alcohol and drugs might provide you with a mood boost, they can have very poor effects on mood in the longer term and are not effective ways to cope with stress. Try your best to limit or avoid use of mood-altering drugs/alcohol. 



Reduce Academic Stress

Make your life easier by using study groups, tutors, the campus writing center, and TAs in order to get the support you need in order to succeed in class. See if your college offers support with time management or study skills so you can study most effectively (Google “[Your School’s Name] + Academic Support Services” to see what they offer).