First-year students (and their parents!) usually have expectations about college life long before actually leaving home. Some students look forward to college, and are eager to experience more freedom and adventure, while others may feel enthusiastic initially, only to discover that they don't feel happy, comfortable, or secure in their new environment.
Approaching an individual with a personal health-related issue is a process often involving many elements including engaging in dialogue, educating yourself and your friend, and exploring resources, with the eventual goal of them seeking additional help from a health care professional.
Understanding the barriers to parent-college student communication is a critical step toward providing practical support for college students.