Going off to college seems picture-perfect in advertising and university catalogs, but the reality can be much more stressful and even debilitating for some young adults.
Many relocate from their parents’ home to a dorm room where loneliness can set in. All must function more independently than ever, with fewer rules, guidance and oversight, in a pool of peer pressure that heightens insecurities and anxiety.
To help, Natchaug Hospital opened the College Student Treatment Program last year in Mansfield. This September, as students head back to campus, a second location will open in Groton, according to Program Director Cathy Walton.
“The program is designed to meet the specific needs of matriculating college students struggling to function due to issues like depression, anxiety and/or substance abuse,” Walton explained.
While colleges offer basic behavioral health care to students, the Natchaug program is for those who require a higher level of attention that will not interfere with their college studies.
“These are students who may be struggling to function in the college environment due to mood issues, the stress of a significant life adjustment, peer pressure and academic challenges,” Walton said. “They may also be struggling with substance use. They are facing problems unique to being a college student and may have other stressors such as working while going to school.”
The intensive outpatient program offers comprehensive assessment and treatment planning. Participants attend sessions Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Natchaug’s location at 1353 Gold Star Highway, Groton. Free transportation is available to nearby college campuses if needed.
“In group therapy, participants are engaged to talk about issues relevant to them as college students,” Walton said. “The supportive environment empowers young adults to learn how to gain control of their mental health and/or substance use and strive to achieve their personal goals in school.”
In addition, psychiatric consultations and medication management is available. Students can opt to involve their families, too, if desired.
For more information about the College Student Treatment Program in Groton, or to schedule an intake session, call 860.629.8270.