How Parents Can Prepare College-Bound Teens for Mental Wellness

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Aired August 3, 2023

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Transitioning from high school to college can be an exciting yet overwhelming time for many students and their parents. At this stage of life, college-bound teens may face new – or recurrent – mental health challenges. These might include adjusting to a new environment, managing increased academic and social pressures, and navigating new relationships.

Parents can take proactive steps to promote mental wellness and help college-bound teens prepare for challenges. Parents and students need to know how to access campus resources. They should also learn what steps to take if a student requires a temporary leave of absence from school for mental health-related issues.

Kimberly Blackshear, MSW, LCSWA, will discuss how adults can recognize mental health risks that college-bound teens face. Participants will acquire strategies for providing support that promotes mental wellness and identify mental health resources available to college students.


This program is supported by

George Harrington Trust

Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation

Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust

Rebecca Pomroy Foundation

Bennett Family Foundation

Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation

John Donnelly Trust

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program


Kimberly Blackshear

Kimberly Blackshear, MSW, LCSWA

Kimberly Blackshear, MSW, LCSWA, is the director of the Time Away Office co-located in the Duke University Office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs. In this role, Kimberly supports all undergraduates interested in taking time away from the university, while they are away and helps them transition back to university. Kimberly also served as a Network Liaison and Affiliate Program Coordinator for the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, a bicoastal SAMHSA grant at both Duke University of University of California Los Angeles for eight years. Kimberly served as the Clinical Advisor and Quality Improvement Coordinator for a day treatment facility, serving children long term suspended or expelled from the public school system. She has been a probation officer, child protective specialist, and director of a community mental health agency. For the last fifteen years, Kimberly has served as a court appointment Guardian ad Litem in the state of North Carolina, representing the best interests of children in the child welfare system. In addition to her work in child-serving and educational systems, Kimberly is the Executive Director of a forensic psychology practice in Durham, North Carolina, where she also serves as a mitigation specialist on capital murder cases across the state. Kimberly obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in 2020, specializing in clinical social work, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Urbana University in 2004, majoring in psychology, sociology, and criminal justice.

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Susan Weinstein, JD, Moderator

Susan Weinstein, JD, Co-Executive Director, has been primarily responsible for programs and finances at Families for Depression Awareness since 2012. Susan was diagnosed with depression in her teens and has drawn from her personal experiences to inform FFDA’s curriculum. She has worked in nonprofits and local government throughout her career, generally in a non-legal capacity. She holds several volunteer positions, including serving on the Executive Committee and as Governance Committee Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and holding a variety of elected and appointed seats in her town government since 1992. A native of South Florida, Susan is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Boston University School of Law.