How Parents can Support Students’ Mental Health

During college, your student is going through a time of significant change and deep personal growth.

Even at the best of times, college can take a toll on students’ mental health—let alone during the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like all the other student support services, Counseling Services is here to help students to succeed at WSU.

You can be assured that our professional staff will be there to support your student through counseling, crisis intervention, referrals to outside agencies, and educational programming.

You can find general information on supporting your student on the Parents and Families website.


FAQs about WSU Counseling Services

Any student currently enrolled at WSU or MN State Southeast can use our services for individual counseling as well as events and programs.

Encourage your student to call or email Counseling Services between 8am and 4:30pm to schedule an appointment.

It’s better to encourage your student to contact us.

Your student knows their schedule and will be more likely to attend the appointment when they schedule it.

The Counseling Services staff is legally and ethically bound by rules of confidentiality.

We will not be able to confirm if your student is coming to counseling or give you any information about individual sessions without your student’s written permission.

We understand your desire for information, but we also trust that you understand that confidentiality is an essential part of the counseling process.

We often receive phone calls from concerned parents.

Even though confidentiality limits us from giving you information about your specific student, we can listen and provide general problem-solving advice.

Yes, here are some strategies to encourage your student to seek out Counseling Services:

  • Explain to your child why you are recommending counseling: “I’ve seen/heard … and I’m concerned”
  • Remind them counseling is confidential, not a part of their academic record, and is used by many students for a wide variety of reasons
  • Suggest that they commit to one session and then decide if they want to continue
  • Remind them that resilient and successful college students use the wide variety of resources available to them. Successful students are not generally those who go at it alone.

However, you must remember that it is your student's decision. Students make the most progress in counseling when they want to be there.

You’ve done your part by expressing your concern and giving them the resource and your support.

We are designed to provide short-term, solution-focused counseling in order to offer services to as many students as possible.

For those students who need more long-term services, we can help facilitate a referral to community professionals.

Some examples of when a referral is most appropriate are:

  • Students may require weekly appointments throughout the year
  • Students require a specific type of therapy not practiced by our staff
  • Students were receiving long-term, consistent therapy before coming to WSU

No. Counseling records are separate from all other records on campus.

Professors and other staff do not have access to counseling records.

When a student is on medication or interested in discussing medication as an option, we typically refer them to WSU Health Services where they will meet with one of the medical providers.

Parents should keep in touch with their students to be aware of significant changes in their:

  • academic performance (skipping class, poor grades, lack of motivation)
  • behavior (personal hygiene, mood, sleep, or appetite)
  • stressful situations (death of someone close, unwanted break-ups, social isolation)

If you notice changes, tell them the changes you’ve noticed, express your concern, and then provide them with our information.

Here’s a step-by-step guide about how to help someone in distress.

References to suicide need immediate attention. Find local and 24/7 emergency resources.