What College Students Can Gain From Short-Term Residential Treatment Over the Summer
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College can bring a whirlwind of emotions for students. The exhilarating freedom of independence can clash with the challenges of demanding coursework. The unrelenting pressure to succeed weighs heavily on your shoulders. Don’t forget about the ever-present worry about the future. It’s no surprise that mental health concerns are on the rise among college students. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the Healthy Minds Study collected data from 373 campuses that showed that over 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health condition during the 2020-2021 academic year. This demand can leave the average college counselor swamped by the demand and college students waiting for services. Amid this chaos enters a powerful tool that can help college students navigate these challenges and emerge stronger: short-term Residential Treatment programs offered during their summer break. 

Why summer is the ideal time for short-term Residential Treatment

Summer break offers a unique opportunity for college students to prioritize their mental health:

  • Time for recovery — Summer break can be a great time to address mental health concerns without the added pressures of classes and campus life. A structured residential program can provide a safe and supportive environment for intensive therapy and skill development. Without the course load of a typical academic year, college students can entirely focus on healing and building a strong foundation for their mental well-being.
  • Stability and routine — A short-term residential program can be a crucial escape from the relentless pressures of college life. A summer program can give students time to dedicate themselves entirely to their new structured environment. Programs have a set daily schedule, which can be a relief for students struggling with anxiety and depression. The predictability can provide a much-needed sense of stability and routine. Knowing what to expect each day can allow students to fully focus on their treatment and recovery without the added stress of trying to manage their schedules. 
  • Coping skills for long-term wellness — College can be stressful, and students can struggle with anxiety, depression or managing past traumas. A short-term residential program can equip students with coping skills that go beyond the summer months. They can learn techniques for managing stress, communication skills to navigate difficult situations and other strategies for long-term mental well-being. 
  • Tailored solutions for individual needs These programs go beyond traditional therapy that can be offered at college counseling centers. Short-term residential programs typically offer a more intensive approach, with frequent individual and group therapy sessions. This allows for a deeper exploration of individual challenges. In individual therapy sessions, students can address their specific concerns and work with their therapists to develop personalized coping strategies. Group therapy can provide a safe space to share experiences, learn from others’ struggles and build a sense of community with peers facing similar problems.
  • Time for reflection — The constant hustle and bustle of college life can leave little time for introspection. Summer break is a time away from the daily grind. Students have time to step back and gain valuable perspective on their struggles. In short-term Residential Treatment, they can learn to identify triggers, understand their thought patterns and explore the root causes of their mental health challenges. With this newfound understanding, students can then develop effective strategies for managing their mental well-being going forward. 
  • A support system beyond the program — Feeling isolated can be common for college students dealing with mental health challenges. A short-term residential program can offer group therapy and peer support, helping students connect with others facing similar experiences. This sense of community can be invaluable and extend beyond the program. Through online forums or alumni networks, students can maintain connections with peers who understand their struggles. Staying connected can provide ongoing support and encouragement as they navigate college life. 

Beyond treatment: Gaining valuable life skills

Short-term Residential Treatment can go beyond just addressing immediate mental health challenges. Students can also develop invaluable life skills that can benefit them both inside and outside of the classroom:

  • Self-care — Programs can teach the importance of prioritizing sleep, healthy eating, exercise, relaxation techniques and promoting overall well-being. 
  • Communication skills — Students can learn how to express their emotions clearly and effectively. This can help them build stronger relationships.
  • Time management — Developing strategies to manage their daily activities and academic workloads can help students create a more balanced and less stressful college experience.
  • Resilience — Overcoming challenges within the program can help strengthen a student’s ability to handle future stressors with greater confidence. 
  • Self-advocacy — College students can learn how to recognize their needs and communicate effectively with health care providers, professors and others in their lives. 

Lightfully U’s Short-Term Option is an investment in your well-being during summer break

Summer break offers a unique window for college students to prioritize their mental health. Our short-term Residential Treatment program called Short-Term Option at Lightfully U can provide you with a powerful opportunity to address challenges and build resilience for the upcoming semester. Our Short-Term Option is designed for you to spend at least two weeks in a supportive environment. Our experienced, licensed clinical therapists can guide you through individual and group sessions. These sessions can help you develop personalized coping skills for anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns. This intensive period of self-discovery and skill building can equip you to manage stress more effectively and navigate academic challenges with renewed confidence. Our approach is called process-based therapy (PBT); it uses a framework of evidence-based modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) to create a treatment plan that allows us to provide whole-person-centered care. Invest in your well-being this summer and return to campus feeling empowered and ready to thrive.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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