What if My Student Needs Counseling Services?

Whether it's the day-to-day stresses of college life that build up over time or a specific incident that suddenly becomes overwhelming, increasing numbers of students are seeking counseling assistance.

A recent audit of mental health care at U.S. colleges and universities found that nearly one-fourth of the students at liberal arts colleges utilized mental health services available at their schools.

At BW, students can seek a range of counseling services at no cost that include: individual and group counseling, career and personality testing, 24-hour crisis intervention, workshops, psychiatric services and more.

Supportive Atmosphere
With an emphasis on positive growth and development of clients, Counseling Services promotes the well-being of individuals within an atmosphere that is welcoming and approachable. Each student is seen in a multidimensional way that includes areas like gender identification, spirituality, race/ethnicity, culture and more.

Services are tailored to individual needs and concerns, and assist students in meeting their personal, academic, social and career goals.

Professional Excellence
Maintaining the highest standards of the counseling and psychological profession, Counseling Services is committed to client confidentiality, ethical behavior and counseling practices that reflect current research and standards.

Client Confidentiality
Concerned family members often want to support their students and be advised of their well-being.  While Counseling Services understands and appreciates this interest, the staff must adhere to confidentiality guidelines mandated by Ohio laws as well as those required by professional licensing boards. 

Specifically, these guidelines do not permit Counseling Services staff to talk with parents in any way about their student's participation in counseling without the student's written consent.  For example, staff cannot confirm or deny a student came to a counseling session or disclose the name of his/her counselor.

It is important to note that in cases of imminent danger to self or others, confidentiality can be broken.  Counseling Services welcomes questions about confidentiality limits and encourages parents to contact the office with any concerns they may have about their student's well-being.

Parent Pointers
The following signs can indicate the need for a student to visit Counseling Services:

  • Recent traumatic event or loss.
  • Previous emotional disturbance or treatment.
  • Talk or reference, whether direct or indirect, to suicide.
  • Changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, personal hygiene and/or academic performance.
  • Social withdrawal/isolation and/or relationship problems with family/friends.
  • Signs of excessive alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Crying spells and/or expressions of sadness, unhappiness or mistrust.
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously pleasurable or meaningful.
  • Physical complaints without a known medical cause.
  • Unusual repetitive or ritualistic behavior.

If a student expresses ambivalence about counseling, you can reassure him/her by: 

  • Validating that counseling is an appropriate means of receiving assistance to cope with and help resolve emotional/interpersonal concerns.  Students sometimes think counseling is an admission of weakness or failure.  In truth, it takes considerable courage and integrity to face oneself, acknowledge one's troubles or difficulties, and admit a desire or need for assistance.
  • Noting that no problem is too big or small for counseling.
  • Explaining that a person can to speak to a counselor once without making a commitment to ongoing sessions.
  • Reminding him/her that information shared during counseling sessions is kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without her/his written permission.
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