Information For Families

College can be a time of significant change for students and family members. These frequently asked questions about York College Counseling Services aim to provide further explanation of our services. Please feel free to contact us directly.

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What services are offered to students?

Counseling Services assists students with personal concerns to equip them with resources to meet the daily challenges of life. Staffed by counselors and clinical staff members, all services are offered free of charge to currently enrolled students. Click here for services provided.

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How does counseling work?

Click here for common questions and answers about how counseling works at York College.

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How do I encourage my student to engage in counseling?

Parents, faculty, staff and administrators can call or visit Counseling Services for inquiries and/or guidance pertaining to student concerns.  Sometimes, it is difficult being at a distance and knowing that a loved one is in distress.  Counseling Services will seek to be supportive and will listen to a parent's concerns.

Parents may offer information that could be invaluable to a student's treatment; however, with the exception of imminent danger, counselors will not reveal specific information about specific students without their expressed, written permission.

We encourage parents, faculty, staff and other administrators to refer students to Counseling Services.  Students must call or stop by the offices to make their own appointments as we find that students benefit most when they initiate their own support services.

 

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Am I able to talk with a counselor?

Consulting with the Counseling Services staff
Having a student in college may be challenging for some families who become concerned about their student’s overall wellness. Counseling Services is available to talk in person or over the phone with a family member about questions or concerns they may have about their student. It is most beneficial to schedule a time for a consultation. 

Receiving updates on your student's participation in counseling
If your student chooses to engage in counseling, it is our goal to create a safe environment for them to explore personal concerns. Confidentiality is an essential element of the counseling process and it creates a comfortable setting to share openly and honestly. Knowing that your student is participating in counseling but not knowing anything about the content of those sessions can create challenges for concerned family members. We strongly encourage you to respect your student's right to privacy and instead, focus on their efforts to address their well-being.

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What should I do if my student is reluctant to meet with a counselor?

It can be helpful to encourage your student to talk about their concerns with a professional counselor. Empowering your student to make their own decision about participating in counseling tends to yield the best results. Below are some ideas that could help encourage their attendance at counseling:

  • Learn about our confidentiality policies here and share this information with your student. Assure them that Counseling Services will not share information about them with anyone (including family members) without their written consent.
  • Ask your student to consider meeting with a counselor for one session to determine if it would be helpful.
  • Create a judgment free zone where your student can feel comfortable meeting with a counselor without concern that you or other family members will judge them. 
  • Honor your student's right to learn what works best for them, including participating in counseling, engaging in other services on campus, and knowing when to ask for help. College is the perfect time for your student to become independent and take an active role in their own well-being.
  • Suggest that your student visit our website to become familiar with our services.
  • Encourage your student to take our free and confidential online mental health screening to gauge their level of need for services.
  • In the event your student is uncomfortable attending a session alone, they are welcomed to invite a trusted person to attend with them. 

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What should I do if I am concerned about my student?

In the event of an emergency or life threatening situation there are several options:

In the event of a non-life threatening but urgent situation there are several options:

  • submit an online CARE Team report and follow up with a phone call to Marcie Beam, CARE Team Chair, at 717-815-1281
  • contact Residence Life at 717-815-1281 (if living on campus) to request that an Area Coordinator touch base with your student 
  • contact York College Campus Safety at 717-815-1314 to request a wellness check (to have an officer touch base with your student)
  • contact Academic Services at 717-815-1493 for concerns about your student's academics
  • contact Health Services at 717-849-1615 for medical concerns
  • contact the Dean of Student Affairs at 717-815-1461 for concerns dealing with needs that haven't been addressed by other campus offices. 

If you know that your student has sought counseling at York College Counseling Services and you have information, of an urgent but non-life threatening nature, that you wish to communicate with their counselor please call us at 717-815-6437.

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Resources for Families

Brochures and Handouts

Websites

Supporting a Loved One with a Mental Health Concern or Diagnosis: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2015/How-to-Support-a-Loved-One-s-Mental-Health

Protecting Your Child’s Mental Health: https://www.jedfoundation.org/assets/Programs/Program_downloads/parentsguide.pdf

Off to College - How to Step Back but Stay Connected: http://www.nextavenue.org/college-how-step-back-stay-connected/

How to be a Great Long-Distance Parent: http://www.nextavenue.org/how-be-great-long-distance-parent/

Emotional Health and Your College Student: http://www.transitionyear.org/_downloads/parent_pdf_guide.pdf

Supporting a Family Member: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/improving-care.aspx

Mental Illness and the Family – Recognizing Warning Signs and How to Cope: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/recognizing-warning-signs