Mental Health Guide
Why is planning important?
What is available?
How do students receive services?
Can I talk to my student's counselor?
What if my student develops a serious mental health concern in college?
What other resources are available?
- College life provides less structure and new stressors which can lead to extra challenges.
- Good mental health is important for student success and well-being.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students.
- Warrensburg is a small town and UCM is a small campus with limited mental health resources.
Transition to college life can be a difficult experience for anybody. Adapting to college with a mental health condition (such as depression, ADHD, or an anxiety disorder) can have its own unique challenges. With some careful planning, it is possible for students with mental health conditions to meet these challenges and enjoy success.
When coming to campus with an existing mental health diagnosis, it is very important to plan ahead. Having a treatment provider in your home town for breaks and long weekends may not be sufficient. In addition, the university is unable to provide long-term psychological services to students with chronic conditions. Therefore, it is a good idea to establish a connection in the community in which the student will be living while away at school – even if it is “just in case”. Have the student arrange for copies of his/her records to be sent to the new provider to help with the transition. Remember, CC can help you and your student find the appropriate referral should you desire assistance.
It is important you and your student understand his/her mental health condition. He or she should work toward becoming familiar with his/her own strengths and weaknesses and how to ask for assistance when needed. Educate yourselves about effective treatments and the impact these may have on your student's college experience. Find a nearby professional you both trust to provide treatment and to be available in an emergency.
Since finances are typically a concern for college students, it will be important to ensure he or she will be able to pay for mental health care while in school. If the student does not have health insurance coverage or will lose coverage during college, it will important to investigate other options. Find out more information about student health insurance.
What are the available resources for students with mental health concerns and their families?
CC and other campus and community resources can provide limited support services to assist students in pursuing their goals. However, it is important to have realistic expectations regarding what the university and surrounding community can provide.
The counseling center provides brief individual, group, and couples psychotherapy as well as referrals for students; however, long-term, open-ended psychotherapy and after hours emergency services are not available. CC psychologists are available for consultation to both parents and students, either by phone or by appointment. Parents are welcome to call if they have any questions about CC, about how to assist their child for whom they have some concerns, or about how to obtain specific services on campus or in the community.
CC staff cannot give parents any confidential information about their son or daughter without the student's written permission, including in most cases whether or not the student has ever sought services at CC. Confidentiality is a very important part of the counseling relationship and we adhere to confidentiality guidelines mandated by Missouri law and the American Psychological Association. See our About Us pages to learn more about what we can offer.
- Academic Advisement(x18823)
- Accessibility Services
- Campus Advocate
- Career Services
- Health Center
- Learning Center
- Office of Student Affairs
- Public Safety
- Student Financial Assistance
- Writing Center
Warrensburg has its own community mental health center called Pathways Behavioral Healthcare, 660-747-7127, www.pathwaysonline.org . Warrensburg also has a hospital ( Western Missouri Medical Center ) equipped with an ER, but it does not have a mental health unit. There are also several mental health practices in Warrensburg (see our Resources page for contact information about Warrensburg services). There is often a waiting list in Warrensburg to see a psychiatrist, so if psychiatric services are needed, it is important to make arrangements in advance. If the student has reliable transportation, the many services in Kansas City may be an option (see our Resources page for contact information about Kansas City and other area services).
The CC web page includes links to a wide variety of self-help and referral resources . Here, students can find information and links to numerous sites related to depression, anxiety, and other related topics.
Students can call 543-4060 or walk in to Humphreys 131 to make an appointment. We prefer that students personally call to make their own appointments rather than having a parent make an appointment for them. We have found that students are more likely to follow through with their appointments when they make them personally. In most situations, students are seen within the same week they call for an appointment. In emergency situations, a psychologist is on call during regular business hours to see students the same day.
CC staff will not discuss the student's concerns with anyone outside the counseling center without the written permission of the student (with a few rare exceptions, see the Confidentiality page). This means that we cannot talk with parents about specific students unless the student signs a form authorizing us to do so. Counseling sessions are covered by a confidentiality policy and in most cases; we may not even be able to tell you whether or not your student is attending counseling. The best way to find out exactly how your student is doing is to ask them directly.
If you are concerned your student may be developing or re-developing a serious mental condition (such as depression or an eating disorder), you can encourage him/her to go to CC as soon as possible to make an appointment to speak with a psychologist. The psychologist will evaluate the student and make recommendations. In the event that a student does develop a serious mental or emotional crisis, Emergency Services are available through the Counseling Center during regular business hours. In a life threatening emergency, the student or family member should call 911.
Additional Resources for Families:
Ulifeline ( www.ulifeline.org ) is an anonymous, Internet-based resource that provides students with a non-threatening and supportive link to their college mental health center. Ulifeline uniquely combines the following features into one web site and serves as students' one-stop online resource for mental health information. Ulifeline complements and enhances the existing offerings of your mental health center.
College Parents of America
http://www.collegeparents.org/ "College Parents of America (CPA) is the only national membership association dedicated to helping parents prepare and put their children through college easily, economically and safely. Today, college parents represent an estimated 12 million households. An additional 24 million households are currently saving and otherwise preparing children for college. CPA is a resource, an advisor and an advocate working on behalf of these millions of families."
Alcohol, Other Drugs, and College: A Parent's Guide
PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
(http://www.pflag.org) offers general information about issues facing GLBT individuals and how their loved ones may assist and advocate for them.
Parents and Loved Ones of Sexual Abuse and Rape Survivors
http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/2656 Friends and family of people who have been sexually abused give tips on how you can help them through. Also provides some insight from survivors.
National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
http://www.nami.org/ “NAMI is a nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses”. Be sure to check out the NAMI on Campus page.