How to Make a Referral to University Counseling Services (UCS)

A child should be referred whenever you believe their difficulties have gone beyond their capacity to cope with the situation, and beyond your own ability to be helpful.

Some children will initially find some relief when provided with the opportunity to discuss their concerns. However, other children may feel more comfortable talking with a third party. For non-emergent situations, it may be best to call UCS on behalf of your child. The child can then be given an appointment and any further instructions. If you have more serious concerns about a child’s willingness or ability to follow through with an appointment, it may be best to walk the child to the UCS office. For students who prefer off-campus resources, additional names and numbers are presented below.

If you would like to discuss any general or specific concerns, please contact us at 620-235-4452 or stop by the University Counseling Service at 1801 S. Broadway. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. For emergency assistance, call 911.


Guidelines for Helpful Interactions

Once you identify that your child is experiencing a pattern of symptoms, you must decide whether or not to confront that child. Below are some guidelines if you choose to speak to your child:

  • Make them feel comfortable by talking in private.
  • Express your concerns in a direct, straightforward manner.
  • Listen carefully to your child’s concerns.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Determine whether a referral to UCS would be beneficial.
  • Remember that your child has a right to accept, think over, or refuse your recommendations.
  • If your child resists help and you are still concerned, it may be helpful to discuss your concerns with a member of the UCS staff.


What to Do if Your Child is Reluctant to Seek Help

It is important to understand as parents we cannot make decisions regarding a child’s emotional well-being for them, and counseling is always a personal choice. But at the same time, you can assist your child who may be ambivalent about seeking professional help in a number of ways.

  • Normalize the process of pursuing counseling. This may be especially helpful for children whose cultural backgrounds may include differing views of mental health treatment.
  • Reassure your child by explaining to them that you do not view him/her as "crazy."
  • Let your child know that no problem is too big or too small for treatment.
  • Inform your child that there is no charge for the first appointment, and they can speak to a counselor once without making a commitment to ongoing therapy.
  • Discuss the confidentiality poilicy, that any information shared during their counseling session is kept strictly confidential and that notations of counseling services are not part of his/her academic record at PSU.
  • Talk to your child about his/her fears and concerns about seeking help. Some children may feel that counseling is an admission of weakness or failure; explain to your child that it takes considerable courage and integrity to face oneself, acknowledge his/her limitations, and admit their need for assistance.
  • Suggest that your child visit our web site to become familiar with the services we offer prior to seeking treatment.