Concerned About a Student?
If someone in your family is a student at Sacramento State, they will be experiencing a tremendous amount of change and growth during their time here. You can anticipate that there will be times when your family member will feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out, or even occasionally depressed. Making adult decisions, facing relationship challenges, and working hard to earn grades that will pave the way for a successful career, can weigh heavily on a student's mind. At times, they can interfere with that person's ability to study or do well on exams and projects. While these difficulties often resolve themselves without assistance, there may be times when your student would benefit from additional support or talking with a professional. This is where you come in!
Support for Student
Though they are reluctant to admit it, most college students care what their families think. A simple, straightforward, and non-judgmental expression of support from you may be the most important step in helping that student get back on track. We recommend that you talk with your student if you are concerned. Tell them specifically what you have observed ("you seem quiet" or "you didn't laugh as much as usual last weekend" or "we noticed you were staring into space a lot"). This will help them understand that you noticed a change in their behavior and are interested in their life. Even more important, let them know that you are available to listen and that you understand that college can be tough. Remind them that you want what is best for them and that you will support them even if they stumble.
It may help to remind your student that there are a variety of resources available on campus. The CAPS website contains much useful information. Although your student was presented with this information at orientation, she/he may not remember it now. Encourage your student to take advantage of these services before her/his difficulties mount. Encourage him or her to give us a call or stop by to make an appointment. It's important to know that our services are intended primarily to help students with short-term emotional adjustment problems rather than long-term, intensive psychological problems. However, if your student's needs extend beyond our capacity, we can help your student develop a plan and provide consultation and referrals so she/he can obtain appropriate care.
If you are concerned about your student and want to talk with someone, feel free to call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 916-278-6416 to speak with one of our counselors. The counselor can consult with you and help you identify the best options for supporting your family member. If your student is a client at CAPS, we are legally prohibited from sharing that information with you, but we can always provide general information regarding how best to help as a parent or concerned family member.
Excellent information for parents about helping their student adjust to college life can be found at the following websites:
Other Helpful Sites:
U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov/college-completion
Parent Resources for College Alcohol Use
Parent Reources for College Mental Health
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: www.pflag.org
- Empty Nest. . .Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College, Andrea Van Steenhouse (2002).
- Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, Karen Levin Coburn, Madge Lawrence Treeger (2003).
- She’s Leaving Home: Letting Go as a Daughter Goes to College, Connie Jones.
- College Of The Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis And What To Do About It by Richard Kadison, M.D. & Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, 2004.
- Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money by E. Johnson & Christine Schelhas-Miller, 2000.
- How To Survive And Thrive In An Empty Nest: Reclaiming Your Life When Your Children Have Grown by Robert H. Lauer, 1999.
- When Your Kid Goes To College: A Parent’s Survival Guide by Carol Barkin, 1999.
- Almost Grown: Launching Your Child From High School To College by Patrick Pasick, 1998.
Helping Your Student
- A Parent’s Guide to Sex, Drugs, and Flunking Out: Answers to the Questions Your College Student Doesn’t Want You to Ask, Joel Epstein (2001).
- You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here if You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years, Marjorie Savage (2003).
For Students and Parents
- College Rules! How to Study, Survive and Succeed in College, Sherrie L. Nist, Jodi Patrick Holschuh, Sherrie Nist (2002).
- The Ultimate College Survival Guide, Janet Farrar Worthington, Ronald Farrar (1995).
- Your College Experience: Strategies for Success, John N. Gardner, A. Jerome Jewler (2004).
- Chicken Soup for the College Soul: Inspiring and Humorous Stories About College, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark, Jack Canfield (1999).