Our teenagers are suffering more than ever. College counseling centers are overwhelmed, parents are worried, and mental health issues are increasingly common in young people between the ages of 12 and 20. Parents are particularly concerned about how to help their kids achieve a safe, healthy, and fulfilling college experience in light of soaring rates of depression and anxiety in young people.
Mood Prep 101: A Parent's Guide to Preventing Depression and Anxiety in College-Bound Teens answers the question most parents have - "What can we do?" - when it comes to college-bound teens who may be vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Written with humor and compassion by award-winning psychologist and psychotherapist Carol Landau, this timely book empowers parents by providing strategies for helping their children psychologically prepare for college and adulthood, as well as by addressing and alleviating the anxiety parents themselves may feel about kids leaving home for the first time. Young people need a solid foundation of parental support in order to succeed at college; as such, Landau shows parents how they can promote healthy communication and problem-solving skills, and how they can help young people learn to better regulate emotions and tolerate distress. Landau also describes stressors typical amongst college students, and explains how to identify vulnerabilities to anxiety and depression, including perfectionism, social isolation, and the feeling of being "different". The book outlines how a parent can help students find a therapist and suggests such evidence- based treatments as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). Finally, the book sheds light on some of the risky behaviors commonly found on today's college campuses, such as substance use and unsafe sexual relationships, and how they can exacerbate or even trigger anxiety and depression in young people. Landau concludes by calling on parents and educators to back away from the stressful, competitive focus of the college admissions process and turn instead to the values of curiosity, collaboration and empathy.