Healthy for the Holidays: Healthy Roster Helps Parents Assess Mental Health of College Students this Season & Beyond

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Provider of Healthcare Engagement Tools Partners with Crisis Counselors to Provide Questions to Ask Young Adults when Home for the Holidays

“The stress of college life can catch up with young adults, so it’s powerful for parents to connect with their children where they feel most supported - at home.”

One in four students have a diagnosable mental illness and 40 percent don’t seek help, according to research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). With Thanksgiving upon us, Healthy Roster, a mobile-first platform for supporting the health and wellness of high school and college students, is helping parents maximize facetime with their college-aged kids this season and gain insight into their mental health. In partnership with top crisis counselors and licensed psychologists, Healthy Roster is revealing best practices for assessing how their children are feeling, along with tips for starting a productive dialogue when they’re home for the holidays.

“The stress of college life can catch up with young adults, so it’s powerful for parents to connect with their children where they feel most supported - at home,” said Dan Fronczak, co-founder and president of Healthy Roster. “Often times, it can be difficult to recognize the warning signs that your student is struggling, so our focus is on early detection through proactive mental health screening and alerts.”

Healthy Roster provides high school and collegiate athletic trainers with better visibility into the physical and mental health of their players with an innovative mobile documentation and communication platform. With the SAFE Roster platform, healthcare providers can now more easily conduct secure screenings for mental health as well - including receiving alerts for at-risk individuals, facilitating escalation to a certified mental health provider, and engaging more quickly to address the complete health of each young person.

According to experts, the first step is taking note of the physical symptoms that can alert you to a potential change of the mental health of your young adult:

1. Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more or less than usual, insomnia, not being able to stay asleep, not sleeping for days at a time)

2. Changes in weight (loss or gain) or changes in eating patterns (overly anxious about what they are eating or used to be a fairly healthy eater and now do not care at all; do not eat, eat excessively)

3. Changes in physical activity: From excessive exercise (more than is typical or healthy) to dismissing physical health (does not exercise at all if they used to, personal hygiene problems)

4. Changes in social behavior: isolation from friends, peers, family (more than is usual for them)

5. Changes in personality: Apathetic approach to life (do not care for things they used to: grades, sports, hobbies)

“If you’re seeing physical signs and symptoms that make you think your child may be struggling, it’s important to prepare yourself before even starting the conversation,” said Maria Bucci, LPC. “It’s important to self-reflect and evaluate how to foster the conversation with your child effectively, which is why we’ve also developed our top strategies for starting that conversation with your child.”

1. Help Yourself First. Bucci recommends parents think about their own mental health, along with their current relationship with their child, before starting a conversation. She encourages parents to talk to their child’s doctor or college counseling center for guidance on starting the conversation.

2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes. Think to yourself: “When I was the same age my kid is now, what would I have wanted my parents to say to me?”

3. What You Feel Isn’t What They Feel. What your child is experiencing and feeling as a young adult is inevitably going to be different than what you went through as a young adult. What they’re feeling is not a reflection of you and your emotions - it’s solely your child’s.

4. You Can’t “Fix” Your Child. Bucci stresses the fact that parents can’t absorb their child’s emotions - they can only observe. Focus instead on creating a safe and supportive environment, provide mental health resources, and remind them that they aren’t alone.

5. Focus on listening and observing. Instead of immediately reacting, Bucci recommends waiting 20 seconds to respond.

“The biggest tool in a parent's toolbox is to listen,” added Sarah Neuss, ATC, Crisis Counselor. “Listen to what your student is saying and do not judge. The parent can create an environment where the student feels safe sharing and then can take that and help the student find a professional to help them work through what is manifesting these thoughts and feelings.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and for additional support, text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line. For more on SAFE Roster, visit:

About Healthy Roster
Powering Sports Medicine with the only mobile-first platform, Healthy Roster supports Athletic Trainers in Healthcare Systems, Hospitals, Colleges, High Schools and Industrial settings. Healthy Roster delivers powerful mobile documentation and communication tools, which improves athletic trainers’ ability to provide better care to their athletes and prove value for sports medicine departments. Built on a HIPAA compliant infrastructure, Healthy Roster also enables patients to easily communicate with providers, reducing misunderstandings and delays in care to reduce reinjuries. For more information, visit

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