Parent FAQ's

Parent FAQ's
  • How do I know when to refer my son or daughter to UCS?
  • Any tips for when I approach my child about seeking help?
  • What do I do if my son or daughter is reluctatnt to seek help?
  • When should I be concerned about my adult child?
  • What do I do if my child has lost someone to suicide?
  • How can I help my child transition from high school to college and adulthood?

A student 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 individuals will initially find some relief when provided with the opportunity to discuss their concerns.  However, others 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 student can then be given an appointment and any further instructions.  If you have more serious concerns about your son or daughter’s willingness or ability to follow through with an appointment, it may be best to walk him or her to the UCS office.

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 1701 South Broadway. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. For emergency assistance, call 911.

Once you identify that your son or daughter is experiencing a pattern of symptoms, you must decide whether or not to confront him or her. 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 his or her 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.

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 1701 South Broadway. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. For emergency assistance, call 911.

It is important to understand parents cannot make decisions regarding an adult child’s emotional well-being for them, and counseling is always a personal choice.  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 adult children whose cultural backgrounds may include differing views of mental health treatment.

  • Reassure your son or daughter by explaining that you do not view him or her as "crazy."

  • Let your child know there is no problem too big or too small for treatment.

  • Inform your son or daughter 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 with your son or daughter the UCS confidentiality policy: that any information shared during their counseling session is kept strictly confidential and that notations of counseling services are not part of his or her academic record at PSU.

  • Talk to your child about his or her fears and concerns about seeking help. Some individuals may feel that counseling is an admission of weakness or failure; explain to your adult child that it takes considerable courage and integrity to face oneself, acknowledge his or her limitations, and admit a need for assistance.

  • Suggest that your child visit our website to become familiar with the services we offer prior to seeking treatment.

Many times parents can become aware of changes in their adult child's behaviors from a distance. Parents may see their child struggling at college and want to find a way to help. The following information is designed to help parents determine what to look out for as indicators that their child may need help.

You may notice dramatic shifts in behavior such as:

  • Changes in personal hygiene

  • Changes in eating and sleeping

  • Loss of interest in things and withdrawing from people

  • Anger, agitation, irritability, and emotional outbursts

  • Excessive anxiety and worry

  • Suicidal comments (verbal or in writing)

You may notice behavior changes related to Alcohol and other Drug Abuse such as:

  • Evidence of excessive use of a substance

  • Non-social behaviors like lying or stealing

  • Detrimental behaviors such as neglecting responsibilities, missing classes, or not going to a job

You may also notice behaviors following a Trauma or Crisis such as:

  • Loss/illness of a family member or close friend

  • A break-up or a change in a relationship

  • Conflicts with a roommate, friend, or family member

  • Change in occupation

  • Being assaulted or abused

Follow this link for tips on helping your child cope with the loss of a significant other to suicide:

The following links may be helpful as you do your best to assist your child with the transition to college and adulthood: