Support for College Students with Schizophrenia

Although the cause is unknown, Schizophrenia typically appears when a person is in his or her teens to early twenties. The mental illness described as a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, or expresses emotions, relates to others and perceives reality, affects more than 200,000 Americans annually.

Someone dealing with Schizophrenia may have trouble identifying the difference between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may experience difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

False beliefs (i.e., delusions)

  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Little interest in daily life
  • Lack of emotion 
  • Inappropriate emotions
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Inability to process information
  • Memory problems 
  • Disorganized speech or behavior
  • Catatonic or unresponsive behavior

If You Are in Crisis: Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text START to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All communications are confidential.

Getting help on campus

If you’re experiencing many of these signs and symptoms and it’s impairing your ability to function as a college student, we suggest you:

  • Talk to friends and family about it.
  • Go to the college counseling office, see a psychiatrist, seek out support groups on campus (i.e., Active Minds).
  • Try integrating these non-clinical holistic skills that can help:
    • Exercise
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Mindfulness
    • Better Nutrition

If you’ve tried these and are still feeling very overwhelmed then maybe a medical leave of absence is the right move for you. 

A medical leave of absence from school can be a scary concept where you’re worried about falling behind and leaving your classmates, but the pause may be the most important step you take.   

Let us help

College Re-Entry is a semester long non-clinical program that can provide the structure and community that you need during your medical leave of absence to return to college with confidence. 

CRE has mindfulness, fitness, nutrition specialists to develop a wellness plan to help you gain more control over your symptoms.  You’ll also have access to one-on-one coaching from our social workers, be paired with a mentor who experienced mental health challenges in college and improve your academic skills and stress relief techniques through our seminars.  Most importantly you’ll have a positive environment you can come to every day and be a part of a supportive community of other students also experiencing mental health challenges.