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Recognition of Warning Signs

I am worried about my student. Can you go to his/her room and talk to him/her?

Our staff members do not initiate phone calls, e-mails or room visits to students. We do, however, have daily walk-in hours available for students to come in and meet with a therapist. If you believe your student is reluctant to call the Student Counseling Center, we would be happy to consult with you individually about your concerns.  You may also call 865-974-HELP 24/7 to consult with a mental health professional.

How do I know if my student needs counseling?

Students seek counseling for many reasons including, but not limited to, the following: loneliness and adjustment issues, concerns about career choice and/or academic performance, family concerns such as alcoholism or divorce, emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety, roommate conflicts, eating disorders, problems with alcohol and drug abuse, and suicidal feelings. Students may be seen at the Student Counseling Center or referred for other psychological or psychiatric services depending on the nature of their presenting issues.

How can I help my student?

The college years, late adolescence and young adulthood, are a critical developmental time in the life of your son or daughter. In addition to growing intellectually, he or she is learning to live independently, make choices, accept responsibility, form relationships with others, contribute to the community and further develop a sense of identity and purpose in life. These important steps are never easy and often are quite stressful. This is also a time when some individuals first experience problems with depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders.

As mental health professionals, our staff members understand the concerns and anxieties that parents of university students experience. We view parents as critical partners in helping students survive and thrive in the university environment. Whether you have questions about adjustment to the University or other psychological or emotional issues confronting your student, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns and answer your questions.

Because psychological wellness is such an important component of every student’s success, we also encourage you to become familiar with the information on our website, to learn about the symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, eating problems, substance abuse and to become familiar with our services. In this way we can be effective partners for our students’ wellness and mental health.

What if my student needs a service you cannot provide?

We can provide parents with referrals to counseling services outside the University. You should also consult with your insurance provider about local resources.  You can also ask your student come in to the Student Counseling Center during our walk-in hours and speak to a walk-in therapist. We can assess the situation and make a more appropriate referral if we meet personally with your student.

Are there any other resources that might be helpful for me as a parent concerned about my student?

Below are several links to informative websites that you might find helpful:

  • UT Parents’ Association
    One of the University’s principal goals is to provide parents with information that will assist them as they support and share their student’s experience at UT. This web site is designed to be one of the primary services to facilitate that process.
  • Higher Education Center Family Resources
    Information on college drinking and substance use, prevention , and how to start a conversation with your student.
  • College Parents of America (CPA)
    This national membership association helps parents “prepare and put their children through college easily, economically and safely.”
  • PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
    PFLAG supports GLBT people, their families and friends through local PFLAG chapter helplines and support group meetings and locally and nationally produced resources. .

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