Blogging With a Purpose
So eight years ago she launched College with Confidence, a psychotherapy service that helps parents and young people deal with what can be one of life’s biggest changes — the period when teenagers leave the nest, go to college, and transform into adults.
Tillman’s work with families and online articles attracted the attention of New York Times editor Tina Kelley. Tillman’s meetings with Kelley led to the August launch of “College Corner,” a blog on the New York Times local Web page serving Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange, N.J.
College Corner has resources, tips and information for families going through the college process.
“It’s an educating role that’s I’ve taken about the importance of developing life skills as kids are growing and also about the mental health issues of students on college campuses,” Tillman said.
Many mothers and fathers can’t wait until their teenagers leave home, believing the hard part of parenting is over. But Tillman, who has a grown son who is a filmmaker and daughter who is a news reporter, said the most difficult times for parents could be just beginning.
Some children begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol and participating in risky sex practices in college, she said. Others become lonesome, anxious, depressed or develop mental illness. And suicide is the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24.
”I saw a lot of kids in my office that bounced back home,” she said “Their parents were pulling out their hair — they thought it was all lined up and they were despondent.”
Tillman’s blog gives families advice on a wide range of issues, including how to tour prospective colleges, help their kids address mental health issues , and what topics to bring up with children when they come home for Thanksgiving and winter breaks. She even has three college students writing about their first-year campus experiences.
Tillman hopes her blog will let the public know about the wide variety of resources social workers can offer them.
“Yes, there can be misconceptions about social workers having a limited scope which is so far from the truth,” she said. “My blog educates parents and students and professionals as well as demonstrating the exciting and creative niches that social workers can carve.”
She urges other social workers blog too, provided they have something interesting and important to say.
“It takes a lot of dedication. It takes a lot of time. It takes creativity. And it takes persistence,” she said.
To find out more about how social workers help college students overcome anxiety, read this article by Mary Anne Knapp, MSW, LCSW on the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Web site.| Leave A Comment