Prevention and early intervention are the critical first steps necessary to keep students healthy, productive and successful in school when they encounter personal problems
WASHINGTON (PRWEB) September 5, 2007
The significant life change - the first time away from home for many - takes young adults away from their usual social networks, making them more vulnerable to depression, eating disorders and other conditions. To respond to these needs and supplement existing health services on college campuses, RevolutionHealth.com today launched a College Health Center to provide mental health, relationship, sexual health and healthy living information to students and their parents. The site also brings together leading nonprofit resources through the first-ever Online College Mental Health Fair, providing credible, balanced content from expert resources.
"Many college students, as well as their parents, struggle with the adjustment to college life," said Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution Health. "We developed our college health initiatives because we believe that everyone should have a trusted resource to go to learn more about mental health and other college-related challenges, especially at this time of year."
College Health Center
RevolutionHealth.com's College Health Center guides students and parents through four key areas:
-- Mental Health - While some anxiety and sadness is normal during the transition to college, these symptoms can mask more serious problems. Expert articles and interactive assessments can help parents and young adults determine the extent of the problem and how to address it.
-- Sexual Health - As young adults leave home, they often have questions about sexual health and need a discreet, reliable source to turn to for answers to their questions. Anonymity is critical for students seeking resources on college life.
-- Relationships - Managing long-distance relationships with family and friends can be tough for both parents and students. In addition, college students have to worry about roommates and new friends, while parents often cope with empty nest syndrome.
-- Healthy Living - Everyone has heard of the "Freshman 15," but it is avoidable. Starting college life with a healthy diet and regimen of physical activity can help students take advantage of all college has to offer.
"Prevention and early intervention are the critical first steps necessary to keep students healthy, productive and successful in school when they encounter personal problems," said Dr. Edward Hallowell, Harvard-trained psychiatrist, best-selling author and one of the nation's leading experts in the areas of child and adult emotional and mental health. "College students often experience significant adjustment issues once they are away from home without their normal support structures, and for some students the stress can have a serious impact on their mental health. Often it is the most talented and gifted students who wrestle with these issues, but they hold back on getting help because they have no idea of how simple, practical and effective that help can be. The old days of endlessly talking about your problems are over. Now we have targeted interventions that really work. But we need to get the word out. That's why RevolutionHealth.com's College Health Center is such an exciting project."
Online College Mental Health Fair
Revolution Health has partnered with 11 national nonprofit organizations that address mental health issues, such as anxiety, eating disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to offer the first Online College Mental Health Fair. These partners have information and resource "booths" at the online fair, and for every visitor to their booth each day, Revolution Health will make a donation to that partner for a total of up to $10,000.
RevolutionHealth.com has also assembled experts from these nationally-recognized nonprofit organizations to offer additional resources for parents and students coping with the many changes related to college. The booths provide information on mental health issues, warning signs and key steps to take if someone suspects they are suffering from a mental health condition. The resources are easy-to-access and offer reliable, confidential information on a variety of conditions.
Organizations participating in the Online College Mental Health Fair are:
-- Active Minds - The nation's only peer-to-peer organization dedicated to the mental health of college students. Join the "Send Silence Packing" campaign, which is looking to collect 1,100 backpacks/messenger bags/book bags this fall to be publicly displayed to represent all of those promising lives lost each year to suicide.
-- Anxiety Disorders Association of America - Learn about the latest treatments for anxiety, as well as "Stress Busters" such as exercise, eating right, limiting alcohol and staying away from illegal drugs, and other ways to cope with anxiety, from these national experts
-- RAINN - The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network - Support the National Sexual Assault Hotline and RAINN Day - a nationwide college campus initiative to support sexual assault awareness and hear from RAINN spokesperson Christina Ricci.
-- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance - See the face of bipolar disorder and depression with the "Facing Us" campaign which also supplies tools to those facing the challenges of living with these illnesses.
-- Mental Health America - Read about "back to campus" tips for mental health and about the "MPower" program where musicians support mental health; Mpower has prepared a campus organizer kit with activity ideas, powerful statistics and fact sheets to download and distribute.
-- National Eating Disorders Association - Get information about the National Eating Disorders conference and their "Jeans" program. Featuring the tagline: "Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the REAL you," the program expands on the tried and true NEDA Week event, the Great Jeans Giveaways.
-- National Mental Health Awareness Campaign (NOSTIGMA) - Learn about NOSTIGMA speakers' bureau - a group of young people dedicated to spreading the message about mental health on high school and college campuses. This is the first speakers' bureau in the country devoted to removing the stigma surrounding mental disorders on campus while also promoting mental health for everyone.
-- National Alliance on Mental Illness - Join NAMI's "On Campus Club" which promotes mental health advocacy and develops campus leaders to become a part of the NAMI community. Learn ways to manage stress and deal with anxiety, all targeted toward college-age students and young adults.
-- NARSAD: Mental Health Research Association - Previously known as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD). Learn the top10 myths about mental illness. The booth also promotes Trevor Schack, who has formed a NARSAD group on his campus at Vassar College, has already raised awareness of mental health issues through film screenings and meetings, and will organize a fundraiser this year.
-- Obsessive Compulsive Foundation - Read about the signs and symptoms of OCD and the Organized Chaos webzine, for young people, by young people.
-- Jed Foundation - The Jed Foundation is the nation's leading organization working to prevent suicide. Read ULifeLine, student stories and mental health facts on depression, alcohol and drugs, and other issues.
"Sadly, it sometimes takes a tragedy like Virginia Tech to get people to pay attention to the serious problems of young people and their mental health," said Ginny Grenham, senior vice president of Revolution Health. "By bringing together mental health experts under one roof, we are making it easier for young people, as well as their parents, to get the information they need, without fear of stigma or embarrassment, and seek help if they need it."
About Revolution Health
Revolution Health Group LLC was created by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case to create products and services that empower people by putting them at the center of the health system. The cornerstone of the company is RevolutionHealth.com, a free consumer health and medical web site that marries expert content and online tools with the power of social networking. Revolution Health also offers premium services that enable companies to provide health content and customized online tools to their employees, an insurance marketplace and CarePages (http://www.carepages.com), the leading service that enables communication among family and friends when someone is receiving care. For more information go to http://www.RevolutionHealth.com.