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Guide for Parents
A family goes through a major transition when a son or daughter goes off to college. This transition acknowledges the growing maturation of the student with all the pleasures and challenges of change for the whole family. Students and parents are all hoping that the students will have stimulating and rewarding college experiences. Students are both excited and anxious with the prospect of greater independence. Parents are excited and anxious with the prospect of their almost adult children having greater independence. The relationship between the students and their parents will change with the inevitable back and forth that comes with finding a new balance of dependence and independence.
It is a tricky situation for parents who want to support their sons and daughters by giving them the autonomy they will need to grow academically and emotionally. At the same time it was not that long ago that their children were relying on them a great deal, and they, understandably, have concerns about the certain challenges they will encounter. Parental concern grows in direct proportion to the distance that separates home and college. For additional information on this transitional time, please visit http://www.transitionyear.org/.
The Student Counseling Services counselors are available to all Connecticut College students who may be experiencing some emotional upset due to this period of growth and maturation, or due to more chronic problems. We offer students individual, group and couples counseling. Many concerns can be resolved with a very brief course of treatment; other problems will require treatment of a longer duration. In addition, we have a part-time consulting psychiatrist who can assess and prescribe medications for those students who may require them. Students can utilize the services we offer without fear of repercussions to their academic or social standing at the college.
Our offices are centrally located in the Warnshuis Health Center building. We are open weekdays during the academic year: Monday, from 8:30AM -7:00 PM, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM, and Thursday and Friday, from 8:30AM -5:00 PM. Students who wish to schedule an appointment to see a counselor can either call the administrative assistant at (860) 439-4587 or (x4587) or stop be her office. We make every effort to see the students as soon as possible. If a student is deemed to be in acute distress, he or she would be seen that day.
How Services are Covered
There is no charge for the counseling or psychotherapy services. However, students who consult with our psychiatrist will be billed for those services only. The student health insurance covers the charges for the initial evaluation and a few subsequent follow-up appointments. Thereafter, students will be billed on fee-for-service basis. Some students and their families opt to submit these bills to their family health insurance plans for reimbursement. Students are billed through the Bursar's under the line, "Wellness Services".
Our services are strictly confidential. The staff will not disclose a student's presence in treatment or the nature of that treatment with other parts of the college or with anyone, without that student's written permission. In general, the only reasons that a counselor would breach confidentiality are: to prevent the occurrence of potential harm to the student or someone else; or if ordered to do so by a court of law. Both situations are possible but not likely to happen.
Since most students are over 18 years of age, and, therefore, legally considered to be adults, this confidentiality extends to parents. If you are aware that your son or daughter is seeing a counselor, and would like to discuss his or her treatment with the counselor, ask your student to sign an Exchange of Information form that allows the counselor to speak with you.
Communication with Parents
One of the most formidable situations that a parent can face is knowing that their son or daughter is experiencing some adjustment problem or emotional upset in college, especially if that college is a considerable distance from home. The Student Counseling Services staff welcomes phone calls from parents. When parents call, we will listen to their concerns about their children and will be supportive. If a student is being seen by us or could be in the future, a parent might have information that could be invaluable to the student's treatment. We might be able to suggest a resource on campus for the parent to contact, or a way to communicate your concerns.
At the same time state and federal law, as well as professional ethical guidelines, prohibit any staff member from discussing with anyone, including parents, whether a student is in treatment or what the nature of that treatment might be unless the student has given us written permission to do so. Even if your son or daughter were to have told you that he or she is seeing a counselor, the staff could not communicate with you, the parent, unless he or she had signed a release of information granting us permission to speak with you. This can be frustrating for all concerned. While your offspring are still dependent on you emotionally and financially, at least; in the eyes of the law they are considered adults and entitled to privacy.
While the Student Counseling Services provides care to students who request treatment, we are not able to seek out students who may be demonstrating some distress. The academic deans and the Office of Student Life are able to reach out and contact troubled students. Parents who would like someone to check up on their student should contact either of those two offices for assistance.
In some rare instances, a student may require more intensive treatment or a more specialized treatment than the Student Counseling Services can provide. There are also students who would prefer to be seen by off-campus mental health providers. We keep an extensive list of local community providers to refer these students. The Student Counseling Services maintains contacts with local hospitals as a back up to our psychiatric services.
Students, who might experience some emotional upset outside of office hours or during weekends are instructed to contact their Housefellow, Floor Governor, Peer Adviser, the Administrator-On-Call, or Campus Safety. They have been trained to handle urgent situations. One of the Student Counseling Services counselors is on-call and available to consult with the Administrator-On-Call.
Emergency contact: Campus Safety, 860-439-2222
For student appointments, call x4587
or email SCS@conncoll.edu
Student Counseling Services
Warnshuis Health Center
270 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320-4196
National Suicide Crisis Line:
Southeast CT Mental Health Authority Crisis Response
(7 days per week but not 24 hours)
Trevor Project Crisis Hotline