Parents: Introduce Your College-Bound Teen to ULifeline

If you’ve got a teen who is preparing for college and if your child has suffered from mental illness in the past, you might want to know about ULifeline. It’s a screening tool that your teen can utilize on his or her own to determine whether or not to get help. The screening tool is called the Self-Evaluator, developed for ULifeline by Duke University School of Medicine.


The tool screens for symptoms of 13 of the most common mental illness that college students tend to experience. It’s important to know that this screening tool does not provide a diagnosis. However, it does identify whether there is a problem that might be affecting a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. What’s very useful about this tool is that it also provides information about possible psychological conditions that one may be experiencing as well as how to reach out for assistance. The tool offers one another extraordinary service.  If a student finds the name of his or her college or university from a list provided, then the tool will return with a list of all the available resources at that particular university.


ULifeline is an anonymous, secure, confidential resource for young students to use in order to ensure their mental health. It is an evidence based practice, meaning that screening for mental illnesses has been proven to prevent psychological illnesses in the future. The tool can be used to screen yourself, a friend, or a loved one.


Perhaps it’s already obvious that screening for mental health can prevent major problems in a college student’s life, not to mention in the lives of their parents. However, there are some other important reasons that screening for illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can be worthwhile.  For instance, most people who have these illnesses often don’t know that they have a psychological disorder. It’s common for people to believe that what they’re experiencing is simply what life is, and that other people likely feel the way they do. This can be true with the sadness and chronic low mood that comes with depression as well as the frequent anxiety that comes with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.


The screening tool asks a series of questions having to do with the symptoms of major illnesses. Checking off certain symptoms might indicate that a psychological disorder exists for a person. At the end of the questionnaire, results indicate whether a person has one of the thirteen most common mental illnesses. Also, the results include contact numbers and locations of resources of the university provided. Furthermore, exploration of the site reveals a long list of informative pages on various psychological illnesses – under The Facts navigation link. In addition to a wealth of information on various illnesses, the site also has a library of pages on wellness, such as sleep, diet, exercise, and more. In addition to the self-evaluator, the extensive amount of information provided on the ULifeline website makes the site a significant resource.


If you’re teen is headed off to college soon, or has just begun with this academic year, check out ULifeline as a resource for psychological health.